Another cruise ship with Mexican influenza

ORANJESTAD — The cruise ship Sea Princess that had moored in the harbor yesterday had twenty passengers on board with symptoms of the AH1N1-virus of which seven were infected. The Directorate of Public Health and harbor authority APA took measures to make sure that everything could proceed smoothly.



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The ship with three thousand people on board had come from Cartagena, Columbia. Aruba was their last harbor en route to their final destination in Florida. The ship had already spent two weeks at sea and the 45 ill persons had contracted the symptoms aboard. The ship’s doctor had immediately taken the necessary measures such as isolating the patients and checking their symptoms. After the ship had arrived at Aruba around one o’clock yesterday afternoon, it appeared that there were only twenty persons left with symptoms, of which seven had actually contracted the Mexican influenza. The patients were isolated on the ship and were given the Tamiflu medication. Contrary to other passengers, they were not allowed to leave the ship. Three co-workers of the Directorate Public Health went aboard the Sea Princess to keep an eye on the situation and to see how the patients were doing.

Contrary to the previous ship Ocean Dream, which had moored in the harbor on June 18th last, all went well, says Maribel Tromp of Directorate Public Health. "This time the cruise company cooperated and they rapidly passed on all necessary information. The situation with Ocean Dream was more difficult as a good cooperation was lacking."
Doctor Wilmer Salazar, employed with Public Health, announced that people are not only tested for AH1N1, but also for other viruses that are circulating. "We want to know which other viruses there are in order to prepare ourselves better." The ship left the harbor around seven o’clock last night and headed for their final destination.

Those requiring more information on the virus or on symptoms similar to the AH1N1-virus may contact the Diagnostic Center from one to four o’clock in the afternoon. Tromp stated that the opening hours had been adjusted as there are not many cases and the situation regarding the AH1N1-virus on the island is under control. "As soon as the situation changes, we will take action and the surveillance at the airport will also become stricter. There is no reason for this now, as the influenza has manifested itself in a mild form".