Part I – Cruising and the Risk of Contagion
We are huge fans of cruising but, occasionally, there is an area that causes concern: That’s illness and contagion onboard a ship. Until now, the biggest medical threat to a cruise ship has been the norovirus. It is extremely contagious, causes major stomach distress and has been known to infect schools, businesses and, at times, public gatherings. It seems to really make the headlines when it breaks out on a cruise ship. Unfortunately ships are a unique environment well suited for the spread of a contagious agent and reasonably isolated for periods of time. That has become all to obvious by the recent case of the Diamond Princess in Japan. (More on that later in this series.)
Over the past decade or two, the cruise business has become very aggressive in attacking outbreaks of norovirus and has met with great success. We’ve been on ships with an outbreak of the norovirus and the aggressive actions taken seem almost laughable because of the extremes employed. Jokingly, we’ve commented that if you move too slowly they will attack you and hose you down with disinfectant. Often you’ll encounter walls, doors and railings just soaked with disinfectant. There is also a focus on trying to control the spread of flu and colds on ships but, unfortunately, people slip past those policies.
In this series we will explore a number of actions you can take to keep yourself well while traveling and the best ways to deal with sickness should you become ill while away from home. We will finish with an examination of the actions taken by governments, health professionals and cruise companies regarding the coronavirus and those cruise ships.
Precautions to stay well while traveling.
Medications to pack for that trip.
What happened with the Diamond Princess.