There have been more than one or two threads started here at Cruise Chat about "stomach flus" and other intestinal outbreaks on ships that those who have been on at least one cruise know as The Norovirus.
Even the media are beginning to wonder whether some phenomenon short of the Apocolypse is afoot.
Thompson was one of more than 400 passengers sickened by the norovirus on a Celebrity Cruise lines ship in mid-February. That outbreak of gastrointestinal illness is one of eight to hit cruise ships in 2010 — with four in just one week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has officially tied many of the outbreaks to the norovirus. Compared to 2009, when there were just 15 total outbreaks on cruise liners, the early 2010 figures may portend a very bad year.
I have a theory, since it seems to me many - if not most - of these larger rashes of NV that break out are during the Winter Months in the northern hemisphere.
Winter is when rates are low. I even found a great Egyptian cruise for dirt cheap because let's face it, I just don't come from old money. Well, with the lower rates are going to come an entirely different clientelle than the cruiselines might be used to. Seasoned cruisers are going to buy up the peak season slots, by enlarge. They're more expensive but people who cruise a lot are usually prepared for, and frequently just have the means for that. Cheaper rates is an open door to new people who might otherwise just take the family on the usual coast to coast drive to Wally World.
Those people are going to be comprised of a large sampling of folks who are not familiar with the cruising culture, a large part of which is understanding that when you're out to sea sealed in a steel tank with 2500 other souls for two weeks using the same dishes, hanging out in the same rooms, washing and reusing the same clothes over and over, day after day - one has to take care to wash one's hands and other hygienic tasks others might not take so seriously.
If you ask me, better education about hand washing ... up front ... IN THE LITERATURE ... WITH PICTURES ... can help to reduce these sudden and startling episodes of NV asea. I mean think about it. Has anyone from the cruise lines ever explained to you about hand washing? I can honestly say I learned about NV and the way to fight it, the santizers outside the buffets and how rude it is to touch food without cleaning your hands and letting people see you do it ... from places like this. Not from the companies who technically are responsible for making sure their passengers know the rules.
I do agree that hand washing and sanitizing on a ship is a must....I think more and more people COME ON THE SHIP sick.....not many people will stay home and forfeit a lot of money by not going....another thought is that you can pick up something on the plane and not realize it.....The constant cleaning on a ship by the crew, leads me to believe it's not the ships fault...just my opinion...
I agree Berick1234
While on the sick ship last month, every 30 min on the TV was a commercial about how to wash your hands and do it right. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him wash his hands! I know people cheat on the health form your all filling out before boarding, I saw the hand railings being clean contantly and the elevator buttons...etc etc I felt for the crew
I work in a dialysis clinic and many of my staff and patients have had the 'stomach bug' also. We constantly educate both staff and patients on handwashing. Norovirus is also spead by droplets and is highly contagious.
I think that the over use of alcohol hand sanitizers has taken a toll on our immune systems and increased the virulence of these types of illnesses. Some ogranisms such as clostridium difficile are not destroyed by the alcohol.It causes horrible diarrhea, it's resistant to many antibiotics. And a person can get it over and over again!
I also believe that when people board the ships, they aren't aware they have the virus. There's a lead time of a couple of days. And while cleaning the ship is always a good idea, that one passenger boards the next time through, and the whole population on board is exposed again.
Hand sanitizers are great in a pinch, but don't fall into the trap that they are a replacement for good handwashing.
Sorry, fogot I'd stepped out of nurse world.
Yes, coughing ,sneezing, pinching a sip of your kid's drink.
These things usually make their way through an entire household, because everyone is exposed before anyone knows they have it.
Don't worry though, it's not really more prevalent on ships, it's just that they are mandated to report it.
Oddly enough, schools and hospitals don't unless it exceeds a certain percent.
I'm very jealous that you have so many beautiful tickers!
The problem with ships is they are so self-contained - the population of a small town condensed into a small space. The new Oasis of the Seas has almost a many passengers as the town I live in. So everything just spreads so fast.
It is not the ships's fault. All you need is one contagious person to come on board. And with many illness, you are contagious days before getting sick.
Handwashing has gotten better, but not enough people use kleenex or something to cover their mouth when they cough. On our last cruise there was a man who came to the theatre every night and sat and coughed all the way through the performances without covering his mouth once. He probably did the same thing at dinner.
We have not gotten norwalk, but both of us have picked up colds.
Ah yes, this winter has been notorious for lingering colds and lately lots of 24-36 hr bugs going around that spread quickly. Some with the colds have had them for weeks and they have stayed home for a short time and then returned to work to keep it spreading.