Home Cruise Safely Hype vs. Facts – The Norovirus Risk While Cruising

The Norovirus is a highly contagious disease that is spread through contact. As outbreaks of disease on cruise ships hit headlines around the world, there are some definite facts that you need to know before going on a cruise so that you are informed and protected. There is also some hype surrounding the Norovirus  on cruises ships that you should be aware of so that you have the right information.

Hype: Norovirus is a cruise ship virus.

It is commonly said that the Norovirus is a cruise ship virus because of what is reported in the headlines and with the CDC. This hype is definitely not true. The Norovirus can be spread anywhere by anyone – including cruises. Outbreaks occur on a cruise ship because someone who was infected boards the ship or somehow the disease is carried on through food. The outbreaks and infections occur just like any other disease, but because a cruise ship is close quarters with a lot of shared space, people can transmit and catch the disease fairly easily.

Fact: The Norovirus is a food-borne illness.

A food-borne illness is an infection or irritation of the gastrointestinal tract that is caused by food or beverages that contain harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses or chemicals. The Norovirus is one of those kinds of illnesses.

Hype: Bring alcohol based wipes to prevent the spread of the disease.

Alcohol based wipes aren’t necessarily the best way to protect against the Norovirus as they are much better suited to prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses.

Fact: Hand sanitizer will be better

Bring hand sanitizer instead of alcohol based wipes to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including the Norovirus. Also wash your hands with soap and water as much as you can.

Hype: It might just be a cold or food poisoning.

Depending on a person’s symptoms they might not realize that they have the Norovirus and may go about their cruise experience as normal.

Fact: The Norovirus is definitely different from a cold.

Norovirus is commonly known as the the 24-hour flu or a stomach bug and knowing the symptoms is crucial to your protection and the protection of others. The Norovirus symptoms consist of vomiting and diarrhea and usually lasts two days but that could be different depending on the person infected. The person who is infected should not leave their living quarters and go about the rest of their trip as they were normal – they put the entire rest of the ship at a risk for a large outbreak with every surface that they touch.