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Cruise Ship Docks In Brisbane After Gastro Outbreak

(Image: Princess Cruises)

A cruise ship has docked in Brisbane after a gastro outbreak affected around 200 passengers.

The outbreak caused delays for new passengers to board the Sea Princess on Thursday morning as comprehensive cleaning took place onboard, according to a Queensland Health spokesperson.

The cruise saw an “elevated number” of guests suffering norovirus-induced gastro, he said.

“Proactive steps taken on board during the cruise reduced the number of new cases being reported and guests were also thanked for adhering to sound health guidelines including regular hand washing and use of hand sanitiser dispensers,” he said.

The Sea Princess had spent 14 days at sea after departing from New Zealand.

Queensland Health confirmed norovirus, one of a group of bugs that can cause gastroenteritis, caused the outbreak.

Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and some stomach cramping.

"Around 200 people were believed to have been infected with the virus," a Metro North Hospital and Health Service spokeswoman said, in a statement.

"Appropriate sanitation procedures and outbreak control measures have been implemented and the vessel is expected to undergo further comprehensive cleaning while in Brisbane."

It comes less than six months after a similar outbreak aboard the Sea Princess's sister ship, the Sun Princess, which docked in Brisbane in August after at least 91 people contracted Norovirus.

Despite the recent cases, Princess Cruises defended the safety of their ships.

"There is a 750 times greater chance of experiencing norovirus on shore than while travelling on a cruise ship," a Princess Cruises spokesman said.

with AAP

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