Mystery surrounds the death of a 12-year-old German schoolboy who died suddenly on board MSC Divina while on a cruise in the Mediterranean.

His entire family including his parents and two brothers has been quarantined as a precaution.

The schoolboy fell ill in the early hours of last Tuesday while on board the cruise ship which was sailing from Palermo to Cagliari in southern Sardinia.

According to Italian media, the boy died of “natural causes.” His family had requested for urgent medical help for the child but attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. He died at around 3 am.

According to the L’Union Sarda newspaper, the boy’s parents and two brothers were rushed to hospital in Sardinia where they were quarantined as a precaution.

“While the staff of our Medical Centre reacted promptly, the health status of the child unexpectedly deteriorated,” a spokesperson for MSC told Newsweek.

“Despite several attempts to resuscitate the child, he, unfortunately, passed away. The cause of this matter has not been identified yet, however, out of respect for the deceased and his family, and to respect medical privacy, we are unable to disclose any further details,” added the MSC spokesperson

According to reports, the boy had been feeling unwell at the first stop of the cruise in Civitavecchia, close to Rome. He had a medical examination but continued to cruise to Sardinia when his condition deteriorated.

MSC spokesperson said the line was working with authorities and the German Embassy officials to assist the family.