More than 200 people fell ill and five were hospitalised in Australia after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
Symptoms were reported by 209 guests among the 5,796 people aboard the Ovation of the Seas vessel earlier this month, Royal Caribbean International cruise line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said.
Most of the passengers affected by the illness were treated by the ship’s doctors with over-the-counter medication, Ms Martinez said.
Five people were taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital following the ship’s return to Sydney on December 7 at the end of a 14-night cruise from Singapore.
Ms Martinez said she had no details on the type of gastrointestinal illness and would not provide conditions of the hospitalised guests out of privacy concerns.
She said sanitation experts were flown in to perform “enhanced sanitary procedures” to supplement routine cleaning protocols and “minimise the risk of a recurrence.”
The husband of one of the hospitalised passengers told Associated Press, on condition of anonymity, that his wife had eaten “undercooked chicken” onboard.
“Her condition continued to worsen and I thought she was going to die in front of me,” he said.
He added that she was recovering in the intensive care unit.