Minimal risk

John McCann, the Saint John harbour master, said there was minimal risk to the public from a ship docking in the city even if some of its passengers were showing symptoms of norovirus. (CBC)

The passenger terminal at the Saint John port will be disinfected now that a ship carrying some passengers with a norovirus has left port.

The Aurora spent Sunday in Saint John's port after reporting some of its passengers had contracted the gastro-intestinal virus.

Despite the reported illnesses, passengers were taking the news in stride as they headed out sightseeing while in Saint John.

"They're just taking ultra-precaution against a possible tummy bug," said Bob Hodgson of Gosport, England.

"I think they sometimes refer to it as the norovirus. But yes, they've been ultra-precautious. Washing hands, especially after toileting." 

Many passengers suspect the illness was contracted when the ship was at port in New York City. 

Hodgson said the captain kept everyone well informed.

"I think what he is trying to express is good hygiene, no more, no less than that," said Hodgson

Minor scare or not, there are protocols in place when a foreign cruise ship docks at a port.

One of those is reporting anyone on board who is sick, said Capt. John McCann, the Saint John Port Authority's harbour master.

"At this point in time they clearly said they didn't think there was any threat to public health or very minimal threat to public health," said McCann.

"Those people that may or suspected of having been affected will be isolated. And the other passengers are free to leave the ship."

No one from the cruise line or the public health department was able to confirm how many people on board were ill.