|Blame it on the Novovirus, which you've probably encountered before
Why It Happens and How to Avoid It
What are the chances of it happening to you?
Do cruise ships really get sick?
not even when hundreds of passengers report to the
infirmary with the same symptoms does it mean the ship is "infected." The culprit is usually a Novovirus often called the
"cruise ship virus."
Symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea with abdominal cramps and nausea generally lasting 24 to 60 hours. Dehydration is the most common complication.
Yet even during the worst, most publicized outbreaks of sick ship only a small percentage of passengers are usually affected.
According to Princess Cruises, "Statistics have shown that the chance of contracting Novovirus on land is 1 in 12; and 1 in 4000 on a cruise ship."
You've probably had it before
Even though it's termed "the cruise ship virus" you're most likely to contract a Novovirus on land. And it's something you've already experienced before.
60 to 80 percent of Novovirus outbreaks occur in schools,
nursing homes, hospitals--all places where large groups
of people interact.
Be smart and get the annual influenza vaccination (flu shot) whether you plan to travel or not.
Cruise travel brings people together from not only North America but all over the world.
Just because it isn't flu season where you live doesn't take into account what's going on health-wise where your dining partners come from.
Air travel itself creates its own problems with re-circulated air and people from everywhere coming in and out of airports.
personally developed walking pneumonia after a flight
from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland and there wasn't any doubt
where I contracted the illness. It was on the airplane,
thanks to all the coughing and sneezing of my fellow passengers.
gastrointestinal outbreaks and respiratory illnesses can create a ship-wide epidemic.
Cruise lines don't like the possibility gastrointestinal outbreaks or respiratory illnesses that might create ship-wide problems. Some have started imposing stricter boarding policies to deny passengers who are obviously ill. Some cruise lines also are making people sign forms stating they are in perfect health before boarding.
Helping prevent an outbreak
Most cruise ships do not allow passengers to serve themselves in the buffet restaurant for the first 3 days of a cruise. That is due to the normal incubation period for the Novo virus.