How to Avoid Getting Sick With Norovirus on a Cruise Ship
What is the Norovirus
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, from contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
Why Noroviruses are Associated With Cruise Ships
Health officials track illness on cruise ships. So, outbreaks are found and reported more quickly on a cruise ship than on land. Plus, the close living quarters on a cruise ship may increase the amount of group contact and thereby more quickly spread the virus.
How to Avoid Getting the Norovirus
- Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizers often. You should wash your hands before eating, drinking, and smoking. Also, wash your hands after touching your face, going to the bathroom, or if your hands get soiled in any way.
- Leave the area if you see someone getting sick (vomiting or diarrhea). You should also report your findings to the cruise staff.
- Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, and drink lots of water. Resting will help keep your immune system strong, and drinking water will prevent dehydration.
- Be considerate of other people’s health. If you’re sick before taking a cruise, don’t get on the ship. Call the cruise line to see if you can arrange an alternative sailing. If you’re sick during the cruise, report your illness to the crew and stay in your room until your symptoms are completely gone.
While it’s possible for the norovirus to be transmitted by food, the cruise lines are fearful of the negative publicity and work very hard to ensure that they are taking all measures to keep their food, and ship surfaces free of germs.
Therefore, it is very important that the traveling public be equally diligent to keep their hands continually clean as they move about and enjoy their cruise. Like we learned on our last cruise, “washy, washy, washy”.
Content Source: CDC Website
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