Tags: norovirus | cruise | sick | stomach | prevent | precaution | cdc

Sickness At Sea: Avoiding Cruise Ship Virus

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 04:43 PM

Another suspected norovirus outbreak has sickened 650 passengers and crew members on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Federal health officials are investigating the cause of the nasty stomach bug and plan to stay onboard the cruise ship until it gets back to port in New Jersey later this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes norovirus is among the most common causes of illness in the United States and it spreads very quickly and easily, particularly in close quarters like on a cruise ship.

It causes acute gastroenteritis, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain and can be spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching tainted surfaces.

But there are precautions you can take to avoid getting sick yourself, if you're planning a winter cruise:
  • Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer fastidiously, especially after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food. 
  • Avoid shaking hands with others or at least be sure to wash up after doing so.
  • Do not share food with anyone if you become sick, or with others who have.
  • Try to avoid or limit touching high-use surfaces where the virus may lurk, including elevator buttons, door handles, hand rails, and even shared dining utensils. If you are using serving spoons in buffet lines, it may be a good idea to wash up or use a hand sanitizer between helping yourself to a meal and sitting down to eat.
  •  Wash any laundry that may be contaminated (such as a bathing suit from a public swimming pool or whirlpool shared with potentially infected individuals).
Most people with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling sick until at least 3 days after they recover, according to CDC officials.

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A suspected norovirus outbreak has sickened 650 passengers and crew members on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas and federal health officials are investigating the cause of the nasty stomach bug and plan to stay onboard the cruise ship until it gets back to port.
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Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 04:43 PM
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