..."The virus is transmitted through contaminated food, water, or infected contacts".....
..."In the US: The Norwalk virus is estimated to cause approximately 40% of cases of nonbacterial gastroenteritis. Norwalk virus is the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis in the United States. "
..."January 1, 2002, to December 2, 2002: Norovirus was attributed to 9 of the 21 outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis on cruise ships reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vessel Sanitation Program in this time period. Noroviruses cause approximately 23 million cases of acute gastroenteritis each year and are the leading cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis."
If you wish to read the CDC's report, it can be found here:
Per the above CDC report, 5 different outbreaks were investigated. In 4 cases no source point was found, in 1 case the source point was believed to be the embarkation lunch.
In this last case the "CDC recommended reinforcing sanitation practices and excluding ill foodhandlers from the work place. Cruise ship C continued service, and no new cases were reported on subsequent cruises."
So what can we do? Yes, handwashing is very important, especially before eating. Also encouraging health promoting behaviors, i.e. good diet, well rested, exercise. And sometimes there isn't anything you can do. If you are exposed, you will either get it or not.
By the way, I am home with my sick 2 year old today who has vomitting and diarrhea. We haven't been on a cruise ship, so he probably got this from daycare. Will I pull him out of daycare? No.
By the way Ron, you could still get sick on your next cruise. These viruses have a way of "shifting". Which means they change just enough that you can get them again, and again, and again................
Hope you don't though.