Cruise ship 'not source of Legionnaires' disease'Two passengers tested positive for the bacteria

01 August 2007

A cruise liner which docked early after two passengers were struck down with Legionnaires' disease was not the source of the infection, its operator said.

Seven passengers on the Fred Olsen vessel The Black Watch fell ill with flu-like symptoms on Friday and two - both women - later tested positive for the Legionella bacteria.

They are currently in hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, where they are doing well, a Fred Olsen spokeswoman said.

Water samples

The cruise liner, which had stopped in Russia, Estonia and Finland, docked in Dover, Kent, two days early after the Swedish authorities took water samples from on-board showers, jacuzzis and pools.

The Health Protection Authority is currently carrying out cleansing and super-chlorination of the ship.

Fred Olsen spokeswoman Wendy Hooper-Greenhill said: 'The vessel has not been found to be the source of the infection.'

Two elderly women who were taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, last night as a precaution, tested negative for the disease.

Passengers - the majority of whom were British and some, Irish - paid up to £6,000 for the 17-day trip.

Cost reduction

Fred Olsen has offered them a 25 per cent reduction on the total cost of their holiday.

They have been advised to visit their doctor if they feel unwell.

Legionnaires' Disease is commonly caused by bacteria in water vapour. Sufferers develop flu-like symptoms.

© The Press Association, All Rights Reserved