Fred. Olsen Pax On Mend After Outbreak

July 30, 2007
Suspected Legionnaires' Outbreak on Fred. Olsen Cruise in Baltic

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines today confirms that seven -- not six -- Black Watch passengers were hospitalized in Stockholm on July 27 with pneumonia-like symptoms; the suspected cause is Legionnaires'. Two of the afflicted cruisers have already recovered enough to be sent home to the U.K. The other five are "making good progress" according to a company statement.

The ship, which departed July 15 on a 17-night Baltic cruise, will return to Dover today -- two days ahead of schedule -- with the remaining 756 passengers and 236 crewmembers. There, it will be thoroughly cleaned and chlorinated before the next scheduled sailing on August 1. In the meantime all Jacuzzis, swimming pools and swimmex (water therapy) machines have been closed until further notice as a precaution; Legionnaires' is typically passed on via water (to learn more about the infection, read our earlier coverage).

Also, Swedish officials have taken samples to determine whether it originated on the ship, according to the U.K.'s Reuters.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor