MSC Cruises has released the following statement:

MSC Cruises has confirmed that four MSC Orchestra crew members disembarked on October 7 2012 in Livorno, Italy, have been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and are receiving appropriate medical treatment in Livorno’s main hospital.

MSC Cruises is in close contact with their families and can confirm that the condition of two of the crew members is unfortunately serious.

Today, Monday October 8, MSC Orchestra called as planned in Villefranche, France, where guests enjoyed excursions in the region as well as various onboard entertainment activities. One hundred and nineteen guests disembarked as scheduled in the port and 114 new guests embarked. Carrying 2,723 guests and 967 crew members, MSC Orchestra is now on her way to Valencia as per her planned itinerary.

“No additional crew members and no guests have presented symptoms," reported Pierfrancesco Lepore, Head of MSC Cruises Corporate Medical Services, and a specialist in hygiene and preventive medicine. “The situation onboard MSC Orchestra is under control and an MSC Cruises medical taskforce is currently onboard to closely monitor the situation and ensure that all necessary procedures are followed. We reacted promptly and provided all passengers and crew with an antibiotic treatment (Ciprofloxacin is the active ingredient) which is easy and safe to take, as well as highly effective as a preventative measure."