At least 75 people have been infected in a suspected norovirus outbreak on a cruise ship berthed in Scotland. GPs are treating those on board the ship, Marco Polo, which is berthed in Invergordon, Easter Ross. In a statement last night, the German-based cruise operator Transocean Tours said: "54 passengers and 21 members of the ship's crew currently have an unconfirmed virus that causes a form of gastroenteritis."

It was initially feared the outbreak had caused the death of a 74 year-old man but health authorities confirmed he had suffered a fatal heart attack as a result of chronic underlying health problems and had not been among those who had contracted the virus.

This ship is carrying 769 passengers and 340 crew. Those who have not shown symptoms have been allowed to come and go at they please, which has drawn criticism in the local community. Local councillor Maxine Smith said: "There doesn't seem to have been any protocols in place. We have shopkeepers, businesses and people who are worried that they have come into contact with someone who potentially has the virus."

Despite the outbreak, the cruise company confirmed that the vessel was scheduled to sail from Invergordon this afternoon to continue her voyage.

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