Hundreds of passengers on board a cruise ship have been struck down by the Norovirus, leading to chaotic scenes on board the vessel.
Some 378 individuals on the luxury liner Oriana have been affected by the bug, which has led to many collapsing, restaurants being shut down and toilets smelling of vomit, reports Channel 4. There has been a 72 per cent hike in the infection this winter and it has taken hold of those on the boat.
Passengers boarded for the ten-night cruise in order to experience the Christmas markets of the Baltics, but many have been left confined to their beds on the P&O vessel. Some of the affected people are staff, making it difficult for them to perform their roles on the cruise liner.
There are now plenty of empty spaces at the dinner tables as people are not able to leave their cabins and eat.
Some passengers told the news source that the trip had become a "holiday from hell", while Paul Gilman added: "It puts a big dampener on everything. You're afraid to leave the ship in case you're struck down."
While P&O did not comment on how many people had been struck by the Norovirus, the Southampton port health authority confirmed 378 individuals have been affected.
In such cases, it might be considered vital for those in charge of the cruise liner to use the best cleaning products to ensure infection cannot spread any further than it already has. This is also a time where staff training and education on issues such as hygiene is likely to pay off handsomely.
Perhaps the only good news for passengers on the Oriana is that it is nearing the end of its journey, having left Southampton on December 4th.
Of course, it is not only on cruise ships that the Norovirus and other bugs are a huge threat, people in hospitals and care homes, for example, also have to be extremely careful.