Hong Kong: Chickenpox cases on cruise ship (6/7/10)

[Source: Govt of Hong Kong PRC SAR, View Original Article.]

A cluster of three chickenpox cases has been reported on board cruise ship SuperStar Aquarius which departs from Hong Kong daily for the open seas. All three cases involved crew members.

The first case involved a 29-year-old male deck utility worker. He presented with rash and fever on May 20. Hong Kong Port Health Office (PHO) received notification of the case on May 21 and sent staff on board for investigation on the same day. The man was put in an isolation ward on board from May 20 to 28 under the care of the ship doctor. PHO advised the ship doctor, who acted on behalf of the ship master, on appropriate disinfection for the vessel and other hygiene measures and to inform staff and passengers, especially pregnant women, carers of newborn babies, immuno-compromised persons about the information and preventive measures of chickenpox. The patient made a full recovery on May 28.

The second case involved another male deck utility worker, 31 years old, who shared the same cabin with the first case before isolation. He presented with skin eruptions over face, scalp, trunk and back on June 5.

The third case is a 22-year-old female card dealer in the casino. She presented with skin eruptions over face, chest and back, also on June 6. PHO received notification of the second and third cases on June 6 and sent a doctor on board to investigate and advise on hygiene measures and isolation of the patients.

A spokesman for the PHO advised pregnant women and immuno-compromised persons to avoid boarding the ship over the next four weeks.

He also said passengers who had got on board the ship on or after May 15 should consult their family doctor if they develop any signs or symptoms of chickenpox or have any concern about contracting the disease.