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Passengers told to look for signs of rare form of hepatitis

Passengers told to look for signs of rare form of hepatitis

Passengers told to look for signs of rare form of hepatitis
23 February 2017 - 18:00 - Update: 23 February 2017 - 18:53


Passengers on board the "Golden Princess" which had docked in Port Melbourne between Feb 13 and Feb 19, 2017, have been told to look for signs of a rare form of hepatitis with symptoms that include vomiting, chills and abdominal pain after a crew member was diagnosed with the disease. Only passengers on the ship between between Feb 8 and 15 were at any risk of infection. Operator Princess Cruises notified the Department of Health and Human Services and has sent letters to passengers who might be affected. The passengers were at very low risk and were unlikely to become unwell. There was no risk to the Victorian community. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weight loss, nausea and vomiting, fever and chills, diarrhoea, yellow skin and eyes, dark urine and pale faeces. It can take 15 to 60 days for symptoms to develop after infection with the average incubation period of around 40 days. If passengers were afflicted they would experience symptoms from late February to mid April. Drinking or eating contaminated water or food could result in infection. The Golden Princess frequently docks at Station Pier and was docked there on Feb 13, 18 and 19. The risk of transmission between the crew member and passengers was estimated as very low. "The cruise line has strict public health and hygiene policies to prevent the risk of spread of infections on board the ship, and the hepatitis E infection is rarely spread person-to-person. Anyone who may have concerns or symptoms should see their GP     

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