Health Protection NSW sent a letter on Saturday to all passengers on Ruby Princess’ March 8-19 voyage from New Zealand to Sydney advising them a crew member has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Risk to passengers is low

Christine Selvey, assistant director of communicable diseases, said the crew member is currently a patient at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and that passengers on the ship have a very low risk of infection.

She said the patient has been diagnosed many weeks after they were on board Ruby Princess and those who may be at risk are roommates and close friends.

‘Tuberculosis is spread from a person with active disease after close and prolonged contact with that person, rather than casual exposure,’ she said.

Dr. Selvey said the department is following up with those people at increased risk so that they can be checked for infection and receive preventive treatment if necessary.

Ship is subject of two COVID-19 investigations

More than 700 cases of coronavirus and at least 22 deaths have now been linked to Ruby Princess which is the subject of both a criminal investigation and a Special Commission of Inquiry.