Update: Flu Confusion on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Update, 7:30 p.m. EDT: Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez tells us there are no new cases today of flu or cold symptoms onboard and confirms again that the 64 people who previously exhibited flu or cold symptoms (62 crew and two passengers) all tested negative in a lab for H1N1. At this point, she is not sure why port officials told the press there were positive cases of H1N1 or where the confusion began.
Earlier today, Martinez confirmed to Cruise Critic that guests were able to disembark in Marseille this morning -- but were not subject to health tests, contrary to media reports. As a precaution, the cruise line isolates those with flu or cold symptoms until they are better.
The news agency is reporting that local authorities allowed passengers to disembark the ship on Saturday morning after health tests. Reuters also stated that 146 crew and passengers with flu-like symptoms remain on the ship.
Yesterday, there were conflicting reports as to whether crew were suffering from swine flu or more common flu symptoms.
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson was not available for comment at press time today, but on Friday told Cruise Critic that 62 crew and two passengers with cold and flu symptoms all tested negative for the H1N1 strain, despite reports to the contrary by outlets such as the Associated Press.
The ship left Barcelona on July 26 for a week-long Mediterranean cruise. It is due back in Barcelona tomorrow.