Sickness bug hits cruise passengers

The norovirus sickness bug has struck again on a cruise ship, with dozens of passengers confined to their cabins.











The illness, which has plagued voyages in recent years, has affected around 60 passengers, including some Britons, on the Princess Cruises' vessel Diamond Princess sailing in the Far East.



The 60 unwell holidaymakers - mainly Americans - were unable to leave the ship when it stopped at Shanghai in China today as part of of a 16-day cruise which has included stops in Hong Kong and Singapore.



John Lloyd, 69, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, told The Sun newspaper: "We're copped up here with this virus. It has been hellish. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime."



A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises said today that Chinese health authorities had confirmed the cause of the sickness as norovirus "which is currently circulating widely throughout certain parts of the world and which is extremely contagious".



She went on: "We are working closely with the Chinese health authorities who are sailing with the ship until her arrival in Xingang (in China) on Friday.



"The ship is currently undergoing an extensive sanitisation to contain any further spread of the illness, and we have planned additional enhanced ship disinfection for the turnaround in Xingang."



Norovirus is the most common form of stomach upset and causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It normally lasts between one and three days.



It has broken out on a number of cruise voyages this decade.

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