Cruise passengers should be cautious when on board

By Cecelia Francisco
February 26, 2004

Jonelle Haykel

If you’re planning on taking a cruise this spring break, beware. More and more cruises are returning with hoards of sick passengers and crewmembers. The most recent epidemic occurred on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship, which was on a five-day cruise to Mexico.

The ship returned prematurely to Galveston, Texas, reporting that approximately 297 passengers and 19 crewmembers were suffering with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that those sick were suffering from gastrointestinal illness, which stems from the Norwalk virus family.

Usually the virus is spread through contaminated floor, contact with infected people or poor hygiene but can be prevented by washing your hands on a regular basis.

Virus infections aboard cruise ships such as this come at a bad time when colleges are closing for spring break and eager students are heading out for vacation on similar ships.

Though the cruise lines, like Carnival, may refund your money if you get sick on their cruise ship, here are some tips to help you avoid illness if you plan to go on a cruise this spring break:
1) Wash your hands regularly.
2) Avoid certain seafood such as clams and oysters, which have been linked to carrying Norwalk Viruses in the past.
3) Drink bottled water whenever possible.
4) Avoid other passengers who have been feeling ill.

Posted to the web by: Jonelle Haykel

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Cecelia Francisco

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