North Sea norovirus outbreak: Five oilworkers quarantined as 55 others show symptoms

Five oilworkers are now being kept in isolation. Picture: TSPL
Five oilworkers are now being kept in isolation. Picture: TSPL
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A TOTAL of five oilworkers are now being kept in isolation on the North Sea installation at the centre of a suspected norovirus outbreak.

• Five oilworkers suspected of contracting norovirus being kept in isolation

• Further 55 showing symptoms

And the oil service company which operates the Heather platform today revealed that a further 55 personal had shown symptoms of being infected with the winter vomiting bug over the last month.

Yesterday non essential personnel were evacuated from the platform, 100 miles North east of the Shetland Islands, as a precautionary measure because of concerns of a potential norovirus outbreak, leaving 70 oilworkers still on board.

The platform is operated on behalf of EnQuest by Aberdeen-based oil service company Petrofac.

A spokesman for Petrofac said yesterday that two oil workers had been placed in quarantine and isolated on the installation as a precautionary measure. But he revealed today:: “Petrofac, as duty holder of the Heather installation on behalf of EnQuest, can confirm that there are currently three suspected cases of norovirus on the installation with an additional two who are clear of symptoms but still in isolation.

“Over the course of the last month 55 personnel have shown symptoms of the virus and have been provided with medical support as required and isolated in designated cabins.”

He added: “All reasonable steps have been taken to contain the spread of the virus including personnel being isolated for an additional 48 hours once clear of any symptoms. Guidance is also being provided by onshore occupational health medical professionals.

“As an additional precautionary measure we have reduced the number of non-essential personnel on the installation, including reducing mobilisation of personnel to the installation, to limit further spread of the virus on board. The platform continues to operate safely and efficiently and has 70 personnel currently on board.”