Thousands stranded on Norwegian Dawn cruise ship hit by possible cholera outbreak

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A Norwegian cruise ship with over 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew on board has been denied permission to dock in Mauritius over fears of a potential cholera outbreak on board.

At least 15 people on the cruise ship Norwegian Dawn have been isolated and samples were taken for testing on Sunday, according to a statement from the Port of Mauritius. The test results are expected on Tuesday, the Reuters news agency reported.

People on board the ship developed mild stomach symptoms after visiting South Africa for a couple days in mid-February, CBS partner network BBC News reported.

Kenya Cruise Ship Tourists
Some of the more than 2,000 tourists who were on board the MV Norwegian Dawn cruise ship are assisted to disembark soon after the ship docked at the port of Mombasa, Kenya, from Seychelles, Jan. 14, 2024.

Gideon Maundu/AP


“The health and safety of passengers as well as that of the country as a whole are of the utmost importance to the authorities,” the port authority of Mauritius said. Officials there decided to block the ship “to avoid any health risks.”

There have been a number of cholera outbreaks in southern African countries over the last few months, the BBC reported. Since January 2023, over 3,000 people in the region have died from cholera and 188,000 have been infected, according to the BBC.

Cholera, an infection that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, is rare in the developed world, but it is almost always fatal if left untreated. It is among the deadliest diseases in the world.

There are 2,184 passengers on the Norwegian Dawn along with 1,026 crew members. About 2,000 of those passengers would have completed their trip and disembarked in Port Luis, while 2,279 new passengers were expected to board the ship, Reuters reported.

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