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Old May 29th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Default Typhoid Fever on Empress of the Seas

Just posting for any passengers that sailed Empress of the Seas 29 Apr through 11 May that did not see this report.

Details Released About Cruise Health Scare

Robin Rieger

(CBS 3) PHILADELPHIA A case of Typhoid Fever was diagnosed on a cruise ship out of Philadelphia and thousands of passengers may have been exposed to the life-threatening illness.

A crew member got sick aboard the ship full of passengers earlier this month and details of the incident are just now coming to light.

Royal Caribbean International’s Empress of The Seas looks like a great way to spend a vacation but Eyewitness News has learned that a 25-year-old bartender working on the ship for a cruise to Bermuda from Philadelphia on April 29th through May 13th had Typhoid Fever during the trip and was hospitalized upon her return to Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Public Health Department has notified the medical community.

“We had a case of Typhoid Fever so that there is some hyper-vigilance among providers who may see some patients with symptoms,? said Dr. James L. Dean of the Philadelphia Public Health Department.

Typhoid Fever comes from a bacteria that is normally found in developing countries and the worker in question boarded the cruise ship in South Philadelphia after returning from her native India.

Dr. Dean says the Center for Disease Control has never seen a secondary case of Typhoid Fever from an infected food handler on a cruise ship but says it is possible especially if that person did not wash their hands properly after using the restroom.

“The danger for anyone who works as a food handler is if they have the bacteria on their hands, it can be transmitted to the food,? said Dr. Dean.

Royal Caribbean told Eyewitness News the woman wore gloves while she worked and she was taken off duty May 11th with flu-like symptoms. The woman was isolated in her stateroom and treated with antibiotics.

“The success rate and cure is close too 100-percent,? added Dr. Dean.

The company reviewed records of anyone who saw the on-board doctor and no similar symptoms were discovered with them or the bartender’s roommates and that is the reason the CDC said it was unnecessary to notify all the passengers on the ship.

The normal incubation period is 8-14 days and could last up to 30 days. The worker has since recovered.

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