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New Caledonia - Ship cleared : another cruise ship turned away

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  • Sally Furniss
    Re: New Caledonia - Swine flu fears: another cruise ship turned away

    Cruise ship cleared after swine flu scare

    The Australian cruise ship the Dawn Princess will be allowed to dock in Sydney tomorrow after test results confirmed there are no cases of swine flu on board.

    The ship had been turned away from New Caledonia after several people on board showed flu-like symptoms.

    New South Wales Health's director of communicable diseases, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, says all 2,000 passengers and 800 crew on board will be allowed to disembark.

    "The results from swabs taken on passengers with an illness on board the Dawn Princess have come back overnight to be negative," he said.

    "That's good news because it means when it docks on Friday morning passengers and crew can go about their business."

    There are 70 confirmed cases of human swine flu in New South Wales, with 633 confirmed cases nationally.

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  • AlaskaDenise
    Re: New Caledonia - Swine flu fears: another cruise ship turned away

    I'm surprised they would stop the ships from docking for such a small number of ill passengers. Cruise ships with Norovirus-infected passengers, with far higher numbers, are still allowed to dock.

    See article below for comparison:


    Cruise ship reports virus sickens 108
    WHITTIER: Some "nice Alaskans" come to aid of passengers who abort trip.


    Published: May 27th, 2009 09:47 PM
    Last Modified: May 27th, 2009 09:47 PM

    A Princess cruise ship traveling to Alaska reported a gastrointestinal illness outbreak on Sunday that sickened 108 of its 2,000 passengers and seven crew members.

    The ship, the Coral Princess, arrived in Whittier on Monday shortly after noon, state health officials said.

    The ship, the terminal area and Princess buses were scrubbed down before the ship began taking on a new load of passengers that evening, a company spokeswoman said.

    Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that usually sickens millions of people every year in the United States. Symptoms, mostly diarrhea and vomiting, usually last for about two days. Cruise lines, nursing homes and other facilities are required to report large outbreaks to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

    One tourist who planned to sail from Whittier on Monday said he decided to abort the trip after hearing about the outbreak, due to concern for his wife's weakened immune system. He said a security officer ordered them off the ship before they were able to make arrangements for a place to stay or a vehicle to pick them up.

    A pair of "nice Alaskans" in Whittier gave the couple a ride in their car and helped them find a place to stay that night, said the tourist, John O'Keefe, 60, of San Francisco.

    O'Keefe, who flew home Monday, said he was concerned about whether the 108 people who left the Coral Princess were properly quarantined and whether the ship was clean.

    California-based Princess Tours spokeswoman Julie Benson said she is sorry that the O'Keefes' vacation was cut off and said she wondered if it had to end that way.

    O'Keefe's interaction with ship security "doesn't seem like the way it's supposed to happen," she said, adding that she didn't have any facts about what did happen.

    She said the company is also anxious about preventing the spread of a norovirus outbreak from one cruise to another group of passengers taking a separate cruise on the same ship.

    "That's why we did an extra cleaning of the ship and all the high-touch areas," she said.

    She said that anyone still sick at the end of a cruise is set up with a hotel room where they can ride out the rest of their illness.

    "We don't put them in our rail cars (or take them to other tourist destinations) until they are well," Benson said.

    While they are on the ship, Princess asks sick passengers to stay in their rooms, but they are not forced to leave the ship, she said.

    This is at least the second outbreak on the Coral Princess this year. The ship also had an outbreak in February that sickened 252 passengers traveling in the Caribbean, according to the CDC.

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  • New Caledonia - Ship cleared : another cruise ship turned away

    <headline>Swine flu fears: another cruise ship turned away</headline>

    <!-- Class 'push-0' just right-aligns the element so that the main content comes first. --> <!-- cT-storyDetails --> Georgina Robinson

    <cite>June 2, 2009 - 12:38PM</cite>
    Another cruise ship has been intercepted in the Pacific Ocean and turned away from New Caledonia while up to five people are tested for swine flu.
    The Dawn Princess liner, with 1996 passengers on board, was not allowed to stop on the island of Lifou in New Caledonia early today after four or five people on board presented with flu-like symptoms.

    Carnival Australia spokesman Anthony Fisk said the ship was on a 13-day cruise of the South Pacific and was due to make its final stop on Lifou Island in New Caledonia before returning to Sydney on Friday.

    But when four or five people reported to the ship's doctors with flu-like symptoms, the crew followed procedure and notified New Caledonian authorities.
    "The New Caledonian officials asked us not to come into port today," Mr Fisk said.

    "We're under the jurisdiction of New Caledonia and we respect their decision.

    "We notify health authorities of all flu instances ... we're aware of the widespread concern regarding individuals with the flu."

    It was not yet known exactly how many people were being tested or whether they were passengers or crew, he said.

    The ship dispatched a crew member with the four or five swabs. They were flown off Lifou today and would be tested in Sydney, Mr Fisk said.
    "The results will be available before we get into port again," he said.

    It is the second cruise liner to be intercepted amid swine flu fears after the Pacific Dawn spent two weeks in quarantine while its 2000 passengers were tested for the influenza strain. All on board returned negative results.

    The Dawn Princess left Sydney nine hours late on May 24 after two passengers on the previous cruise needed testing for swine flu. Their results were also negative.

    The current cruise was due to leave at 4pm on May 23 but was delayed until 1.30am on May 24.

    It missed its first scheduled stop in New Caledonia, on the island of Noumea, because of bad weather, Mr Fisk said.

    It then stopped three times in Fiji and once in Vanuatu. The ABC's Radio Australia reported Fijian authorities set up health checks to screen the Dawn Princess's passengers when they disembarked there on May 28.