Mechanisms of immunity to Norovirus are unclear. It appears that immunity may be strain-specific and lasts only a few months; therefore, given the genetic variability of noroviruses, individuals are likely to be repeatedly infected throughout their lifetimes. This may explain the high attack rates in all ages reported in outbreaks. Recent evidence also suggests that susceptibility to infection may be genetically determined, with people of blood group O being at greatest risk for severe infection.
It is unlikely that you will contract it on your cruise but just keep washing your hands and enjoy the cruise.
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Thanks for the information Mike. My wife got the bug about a month ago. It was diagnosed by the ships doctor. We had already booked the one we go on tomorrow. Hope she has some immunity.
So how much did seeing the ship's doctor cost you? j/w
Home State: Michigan
Feb 2001 Majesty of the seas
March 2002 Majesty of the seas
Nov 2002 Majesty of the seas
March 2005 Explorer of the seas
March 2006 Adventure of the seas
March 2008 Freedom of the seas (Married onboard the Freedom of the Sea's)
Some people appear to have a natural immunity to certain strains of norovirus. My wife got it on a far east cruise a while back, and was laid low for about 36 hours. Despite being in close contact. I did not get it. (the ship was under red alert because of an out break of the disease.
There have apparently been fewer outbreaks than usual lately with the decrease being attributed to hand washing and sanitizing of ships by crew. It appears that the cruise lines have, at long last, figured out that noro is bad for business.
Grade schools are still the most frequent locus for outbreaks of the disease.
Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.
Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
My contacts at CDC are not entirely sure, but believe that one does have some form of immunity for a short time after suffering from Norwalk Virus.
Unfortunately that immumity is most likely only to the particular strain of the virus they had contracted.
Since a cruise ship has thousands of people coming from many different places, the chance that they will be carrying the same viral strain that you just had - out of the thousands of different strains that are currently out there - is very slim.
Unfortunately my grandfather contracted it, and got the worse case scenario. He has had recurring health problems (lungs, persistant flu) on and off for the 3 years since he left the cruise. His doc says he thinks my gfather never got rid of the virus and it keeps flaring up.
Goes to show you why you should quarentine yourself if you think you might be ill.
He is why I am paying extra for a balcony. He was quarentined for most of the cruise, and the balcony was his only fresh air and freedom!
As for avoiding the virus:
My understanding is that if the virus is present there are things you can do to lessen your chance of contracting it, (constant hand washing, use of antibacterial lotions, keep hands away from mouth) but much like influenza it is difficult to avoid if you are in close quarters with an ill person (at the theater, sharing a table etc).
So, let's all pray for good weather, good health and safe cruising!