Road & Rail

More than 100 passengers hit with gastro on Indian Pacific train

More than 100 passengers on Australia’s Indian Pacific train have fallen ill, in what is suspected to be an outbreak of norovirus.

The train, which travells between Sydney and Perth, reported the first case of gastro on September 10, with the last one reported on Wednesday, according to the ABC.

Great Southern Rail (GSR) told Travel Weekly in a statement that Indian Pacific has been working closely with the South Australian Health Department to manage intermittent cases of suspected gastro in September.

Dr Louise Flood, the director of South Australia’s Communicable Disease Control branch told the ABC that the organisation is aware of just over 100 cases.

Though Flood confirmed most cases were “short-lived gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhoea”, two people had to be admitted to hospital emergency departments as a result of the illness.

“We think it’s most likely an outbreak of norovirus, which is one of those agents that is hard to control once it’s in the environment,” Flood said.

“Outbreaks of norovirus are not uncommon and there is a lot of norovirus circulating at the moment.”

“Norovirus is unfortunately very common among all ages and is easily spread,” RSR said in the statement.

“On advice from SA Health, we have taken every available measure to control the spread, including boosting our existing high-standard hygiene practices, removing affected carriages and implementing heavy-duty cleaning at all stops.”

“The people on the Indian Pacific train tend to be older because that’s just the clientele, so whenever you get unwell when you’re older, it can affect you a little more than it does in a young, healthy person,” Flood said.

GSR confirmed the train has now made four journeys without any further cases confirmed onboard and it will continue to monitor and closely liaise with the Health Department in the short term.

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