British cruise ship passengers hit by norovirus

image copyrightFred Olsen
image captionA cruise on Balmoral was cut short last year when passengers suffered a "gastroenteritis-type" illness

More than 250 passengers on a British cruise ship have been hit with the vomiting and diarrhoea bug norovirus.

A total of 252 people out of 919 have been affected on the Balmoral, which left Southampton on 16 April.

An inspection by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) when it docked in Baltimore also revealed eight of the crew had fallen ill.

A cruise on the same ship was cut short last year when passengers suffered a "gastroenteritis-type" illness.

In response to the latest outbreak, Fred Olsen Cruises said it had increased cleaning and disinfection procedures, collected specimens for testing and was making daily reports of cases to the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Programme.

The Balmoral is on a 34-day "Old England to New England" cruise and is currently sailing to Saint John, in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

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