Ruby Princess‘ passengers have been hit by another health warning, this time about a crew member who has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.
Sydney’s Local Health District (SLHD) confirmed a crew member working on the cruise ship during February and March has since been diagnosed with tuberculosis but said the risk of passengers contracting the disease is very low.
The patient is being treated in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and SLHD is screening RPA staff, patients and other crew members as a precaution, however, the organisation believes there is no need to screen passengers at this time.
The director of SLHD’s tuberculosis service, professor Greg Fox said Australia had a long history of successfully containing and treating tuberculosis.
“Typically, tuberculosis is spread through the air by coughing from people who have active tuberculosis. Fortunately, treatment for tuberculosis is highly effective,” he said.
“While risk of transmission is very low, it is still very important that precautionary measures are taken and this is presently underway with all likely prolonged contacts.”
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which most commonly affects the lungs. Compared with other parts of the word, the incidence in Australia is low – about 1,200 cases a year.
The cruise has been linked to at least 20 deaths and almost 700 cases of COVID-19, after it disembarked around 2,700 passengers in Sydney on 19 March.
Princess Cruises declined Travel Weekly’s request for comment.
Featured image: iStock/Evgenii Mitroshin.