Fred Olsen ‘Black Watch’ hit by Norovirus
The Fred Olsen-operated cruise ship, Black Watch, has become the latest luxury liner to come down with a significant case of norovirus.
More than 130 passengers and crew were infected by the virus which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea. After being quarantined in their rooms, passenger’s cabin doors and luggage was reportedly marked with chalk to protect others and aid the clean-up.
The cruise, which started on 8 September with 778 passengers, sailed from Fife to Scandinavia and then onto Russia before returning to Scotland late last week.
Specialist cleaners and health inspectors have since boarded the ship.
A spokeswoman for Fred Olsen said ‘The health, safety and well-being of all our guests is paramount and we believe that our systems for preventing the spread of illness on board our ships are amongst the best within the industry.’
Although the cruise industry has been praised for its efforts in curbing the spread of norovirus and other stomach bugs it is thought that the problem could be solved by changing hygiene products supplied on board. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers which are currently used on the majority of cruise liners are ineffective against norovirus and therefore offer no protection against the ‘cruise ship bug’.
Norovirus is an incredibly strong virus which can survive for long periods of time either in the air, on surfaces or on the skin. Alcohol-based products have been proven to evaporate too quickly, not remaining on the skin long enough to eliminate the virus.
- EcoHydra’s non-alcohol formula contains the active ingredient Benzalkonium Chloride and remains on the surface of the skin long enough to kill the Norovirus. EcoHydra is available at most Boots stores and online.