Celebrity Cruises issues Legionella warning ‘out of abundance of caution’

Celebrity Ascent Legionella warning
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Celebrity Cruises issues Legionella warning ‘out of abundance of caution’

Celebrity Cruises has warned passengers who have previously sailed on its newest ship that two guests onboard in January were later diagnosed with Legionella.

Legionella is a water-born bacteria that can be spread by inhaling contaminated water droplets from such things as showers, air conditioning units or hot tubs.

It can cause muscle aches, coughs, shortness of breath, headaches and fever.

Celebrity said it had written to passengers to inform them of two confirmed cases of Legionella from two prior guests on Celebrity Ascent, although it is not known if they picked up the bacteria onboard.

It said the letters had been sent ‘out of an abundance of caution’ after it had been informed by the US Centers for Disease Control of the two cases.

The guests were not diagnosed on the ship and there has not been a recognised outbreak linked to a specific sailing.

In the letter, Celebrity wrote: “Your health and safety are always our top priority, and out of an abundance of caution, we are reaching out because the CDC advised that two guests who sailed on Celebrity Ascent in January were later diagnosed with a respiratory illness known as Legionella.

“While they do not know if these guests were exposed onboard or elsewhere, we are working with the CDC to ensure awareness, and we immediately implemented heightened sanitation protocols overnight as a precautionary measure.”

The letter appears to have been sent to all previous Celebrity Ascent passengers, not just those on one specific sailing. The cruise line has not said which cruise or cruises the people who caught Legionella were on.

In its letter to guests, it added: “This is not contagious from person to person. It is contracted by inhaling water droplets from a source containing the bacteria, which can be found throughout the world.”

In an attempt to reassure past guests, it said ‘most healthy people’ exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but warned there is an increased risk for the over 50s, smokers, those with chronic lung disease or a weakened immune system.

It said any passengers experiencing systems within 14 days of their cruise should seek medical attention and show the letter to their doctor.

A Celebrity spokesperson told Travel Gossip: “While it is unknown if there was exposure onboard or from another source, in an abundance of caution, and to protect the health and safety of all our guests and crew, we have conducted heightened sanitation measures onboard and are testing water samples in cooperation with the CDC.”

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