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Saga Sapphire: Cruise passengers suffer suspected norovirus on passenger ship

By Sam Lennon

A total 25 people on a cruise ship that landed in Dover were struck by an outbreak of contagious illness.

The victims were sick with suspected norovirus as they sailed on the Saga Sapphire, which landed at Dover Cruise Terminal early this morning.

Saga spokesman Paul Green said: “We believe this was caused by norovirus, which is the second most frequently reported illness after the common cold.

The Saga Sapphire cruise ship.
The Saga Sapphire cruise ship.


“Our high hygiene standards and well practiced procedures have meant that the incident was contained to a very small number of those on board.

"The health of our customers is of paramount importance to us and we adopt a belt and braces approach taking all appropriate steps to ensure their well-being.“

Dover Cruise Terminal.
Dover Cruise Terminal.

Those taken ill were mostly passengers but also some crew. They were confined to their cabins and cared for by medical staff.

Saga says that no more than four people were ill at any one time and only one was still unwell by the time the vessel docked at Dover.

The company says that there were no changes to the disembarking or embarking of passengers that day. Embarking passengers were called about the incident.

The ship had been on a two-week cruise around the British Isles with 1,032 people, 620 passengers and 412 crew.

It is one of the services provided by the Folkestone-based over-50s holidays, insurance and finance company.

Saga - worked to stop the illness speading on the ship.
Saga - worked to stop the illness speading on the ship.

Norovirus is a diarrhoea and vomiting condition and is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.

It is also called the winter vomiting bug because it’s more common in winter but it can be caught at any time of the year.

The condition usually clears up in a few days but spreads very easily in public places.

You can catch it by close contact with someone who is ill by breathing small particles containing the virus or touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

A person with norivirus is most infectious from when their symptoms start until 48 hours after all symptoms have gone.

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