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P&O Cruises addresses Legionnaires speculation

P&O Cruises has confirmed an individual who sailed on Arcadia was later diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease but denied online speculation the incident caused cruises to be cancelled.

The line promptly tested the water on Arcadia, which is is scheduled to come back into service in the summer, after the diagnosis. It is currently docked in Portland, Dorset.

Last month, seven sailings between April 12 and June 23 were pulled because of travel and airline problems caused by Covid.

However, the line quashed speculation on Thursday (May 12) that the “isolated case” of Legionnaires’ disease was linked to the decision to scrap sailings on the 2,094-passenger ship.

Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection that can be caught from inhaling droplets of water containing bacteria that breeds in water systems.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include a cough, breathing difficulties, chest pain, a high temperature and flu-like symptoms.

Confirming the case of Legionnaires, P&O Cruises said: “In an abundance of caution, we undertook testing of the water on board Arcadia across all areas of the ship.

“This was due to an isolated case of Legionnaires’ disease having been identified in Southampton and the individual travelled on Arcadia for a few days prior to the ship’s return to service.

“No other guests or crew were affected. The cancellation of seven cruises on Arcadia was entirely unrelated.”

The line declined to confirm whether legionella bacteria was discovered during the onboard testing.

Arcadia was the last ship in the P&O Cruises fleet to resume operations with a sailing at the end of March.

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