Thursday, December 15, 2011

Good News For Cruisers: Noroviruses Seem To Be On The Decline

The Carnival Dream (photo by Kathy Pryn)
If you've been on a cruise lately you know that the most common site on board ship aren't bikinis, umbreallaed drinks or sunburns. Its hand sanitizer. Little dispensers of the stuff are strategically placed at every main portal and many minor ones. Often stationed next to them will be crew members urging their use. The cruiselines have taken the tactic that one can't be too careful when it comes to the spread of disease onboard these cities at sea.

Happily, it looks like their strategy is working. The outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness aboard cruise ships hit a several year low in 2011, according to the CDC which monitors illness on the ships that port in the US. Just 11 outbreaks were reported, a steep decline from just 5 years ago, when the tally was 30 for that year.

What's even more notable is this decline is occurring at a time when more people are cruising than ever, on even larger ships. Special kudos to Carnival which is the industries largest fleet (with 23 ships), yet had no outbreaks this year.

For all the facts and figures, click here to read USA Today's blog on the news.

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