At least 150 passengers on board the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, have been sickened with norovirus gastroenteritis, according to reports.
Typical symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
New South Wales Health authorities said that a small number of crew members were also sickened.
“There have been 158 passengers and a very small number of crew with gastroenteritis seen at the ship’s medical clinic over the duration of the cruise, and the outbreak is under control,” Public health director Professor Mark Ferson said in a statement obtained by the ABC. “There have been no medical disembarkations or patients requiring hospitalisation.”
One passenger told the broadcaster that she believed the virus began spreading after a passenger failed to say they were sick.
“Somebody had come on five days earlier and hadn’t reported it, so that’s obviously what started it off,” she said. “When anyone got sick you were supposed to report it to them immediately, then you were quarantined.”
Passenger Stephen Dinale, from Sydney, described the scene. He said people were seen vomiting in pools and running down corridors while covering their mouths with their hands.
“You would be [in] the elevator and I would be hitting the button with my knuckle and other people would be running down the corridor holding their mouths … a lot of the staff would be wearing face masks, gloves,” Dinale was quoted by News.com.au as saying.