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Cruise cancelled after hundreds of passengers contract gastro

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A gastroenteritis outbreak on a cruise ship in the Caribbean has infected 299 passengers and 22 crew members, forcing the ship to return to the United States.

A gastroenteritis outbreak on a cruise ship in the Caribbean has infected 299 passengers and 22 crew members, forcing the ship to return to the United States.

The Caribbean Princess, which is carrying more than 4000 people, was denied entry into Trinidad and Tobago because of the outbreak.

The ship is operated by Norwegian Princess Cruise Lines and is on its way back to Florida, where it is expected to arrive on Thursday morning.

The Caribbean Princess, carrying more than 4000 people was denied entry to Trinidad and Tobago because of the "significant outbreak" of gastro.

Passengers and crew have experienced mild symptoms and are being treated by an on-board medical team.

"This is a highly unusual development and we share the disappointment of our guests," the cruise line said in a statement.

"However, the health and safety of our guests and crew is our top priority, and in working with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, it was decided out of an abundance of caution, in this specific instance, to discontinue the cruise."

The company is the same one operating a quarantined ship off the coast of Japan, where more than 130 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

A small boat navigates near a cruise ship Diamond Princess anchoring off the Yokohama Port in Yokohama, near Tokyo.

The Diamond Princess vessel is anchored at Yokohoma, just south of Tokyo, with more than 3000 passengers and crew members.

Though coronavirus is currently on authorities' minds, one of the biggest concerns on board cruise ships is the norovirus - meaning cleanliness has long been a priority for the cruise industry.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control, norovirus - the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis - is most likely to occur when people are in close quarters.

Japanese health officials are conducting extensive medical checks on all 3,700 passengers and crew after one passenger tested positive for the new coronavirus.

"When you have a lot people in a closed environment, whether it's a nursing home or an institution like a school or a cruise ship, it's more like an incubator," Claire Panosian, a professor emeritus in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told CNN last year.

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"People are in closer proximity and viruses can end up in the air and on surfaces that people touch."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/hundreds-contract-gastro-on-cruise-forced-to-return-to-us-princess-cruise-lines/84f73c94-b5c6-4e61-aa1e-e28909212272

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