Issues Related to Illness and Health on a Cruise Ship

Issues Related to Illness and Health on a Cruise Ship

You might spoil your wonderful vacation if you get sick while cruising on a cruise ship.

USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) suggest some healthy cruising tips. They are:

1) Your hands must be washed frequently.

• Avoid exposing others and yourself to anything that causes illness and helps in spreading germs by washing your hands often. Wash hands especially before smoking or eating and after using the washroom.

2) Report your illness if you are sick

• Before going on a cruise, ask the cruise liner company if alternative cruising options like credits, voyage dates etc are available.

• You may also consult a doctor before voyaging to check if you are fit for the voyage.

• Follow the medical staff’s suggestions by visiting the ship’s medical facility during the voyage.

3) Avoid all eatables and drinks that you think will sicken you.

• Search for the general food service cleanliness and inspection scores to assist you in deciding where and what you should eat.

There are three diseases which people are more prone to suffer from if not taken proper care. These diseases are Legionnaires’ disease, Influenza and Noroviruses:

1) Legionnaires’ disease

• Legionnaires’ disease is the reason that leads to pneumonia outbreaks on cruise liners. • The main sources of illnesses on cruise ships are the potable water supply systems and contamination of whirlpool spas on the ship.

• Passengers usually detect the symptoms upon the completion of travel and as a result the transmission of diseases continues.

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• Stays in hotels and exposure to various environments are included in cruise travel which makes it difficult to link a cruise ship with infection.

2) Influenza

• The most common illness among travelers on a cruise ship is the influenza infection.

• Influenza is also the most vaccine-preventable disease of travelers.

• People going on a cruise are advised to have an annual influenza vaccination. This is the primary method for the prevention of influenza and its resulting complications.

• Influenza can cause illness among people of all age group.

• Infants, adolescents and children are usually the ones who are most infected by influenza.

• Persons aging over 65 years suffer from serious illness and have the highest death rate.

• People of any age group who already suffer from serious medical conditions are more prone to suffer from this illness (e.g. people suffering from chronic cardiopulmonary disease).

• Infection from influenza depends on the destination and the time of the year.

• European countries suffer from seasonal epidemics especially during the months of winter.

• Influenza can spread throughout the year in the tropical region.

• However, people onboard are not safe from the infection as there are people who maybe already suffering from influenza and maybe circulating them.