Norovirus On Second P&O Ship: Azura

Passengers on a second Southampton-based cruise ship owned by P&O - Azura - are suffering from Norovirus.

The company confirmed the news on the day the oriana returend to the city following an outbreak which affected around 300 passengers.

In a statement, P&O said:

"There has been an incidence of a mild gastrointestinal illness among the passengers onAzura. This illness is suspected to be Norovirus, which is highly contagious and typically transmitted from person to person.

"Norovirus is common throughout the UK, Europe and North America and has affected a number of schools, hospitals, nursing homes and children's day care centres.  

"Azura returns to Southampton tomorrow 15 Dec following a 11-night Iberia cruise, which departed December 4. There were 3,059 passengers on board, the number of passengers with active symptoms today was ten.  

"Enhanced sanitation protocols have already been implemented to help minimize transmission to other passengers. These comprehensive disinfection protocols have been developed by P and O Cruises in conjunction with U.K. and U.S. public health authorities.   The safety and comfort of passengers and crew is always our number one priority. 

"As is currently standard procedure across our fleet, all the ship's passengers were provided with a precautionary health notice advising of widespread Norovirus activity and the health measures to avoid contraction and spread, both on board and whilst ashore."  

The company says the Captain has been regularly updating the passengers and crew on the situation and has advised passengers with gastrointestinal symptoms to report to the medical centre.

They have also been asked not to go on shore excursions.