Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Holland America
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2002, 06:36 PM
DSH
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default NEW ARTICLE ON NORWALK VIRUS

Don't blame the ocean liners. You can get this stomach bug almost anywhere

Cruising for Trouble

Time, 12/16/2002
By SANJAY GUPTA

The scourge that's plaguing cruise lines - and causing thousands of Americans to rethink their holiday travel plans - didn't start this year, nor did it even start on a ship. It began, as far as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can tell, in Norwalk, Ohio, in October 1968, when 116 elementary-school children and teachers suddenly became ill. The CDC investigated, and the culprit was discovered to be a small, spherical, previously unclassified virus that scientists named, appropriately enough, the Norwalk virus.

Flash forward 34 years, and Norwalk-like viruses (there's a whole family of them) are all over the news as one ocean liner after another limps into port with passengers complaining of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramping. The CDC, which gets called in whenever more than 2% of a vessel's passengers come down with the same disease, identified Norwalk as the infectious agent and oversaw thorough ship scrubbings - which, to the dismay of the owners of the cruise lines, haven't made the problem go away.

So are we in the middle of an oceangoing epidemic? Not according to Dave Forney, chief of the CDC's vessel-sanitation program. He sees this kind of thing all the time; a similar outbreak on several ships in Alaska last summer got almost no press. In fact, he says, as far as gastrointestinal illness goes, fewer people may be getting sick this year than last.

Norwalk-like viruses, it turns out, are extremely common - perhaps second only to cold viruses - and they tend to break out whenever people congregate in close quarters for more than two or three days. Oceangoing pleasure ships provide excellent breeding grounds, but so do schools, hotels, camps, nursing homes and hospitals. "Whenever we look for this virus," says Dr. Marc Widdowson, a CDC epidemiologist, "we find it." Just last week 100 students (of 500) at the Varsity Acres Elementary School in Calgary, Alta., stayed home sick. School prank? Hardly. The Norwalk virus had struck again.

If ocean cruises are your idea of fun, don't despair. This might even be a great time to go shopping for a bargain. The ships have been cleaned. The food and water have been examined and found virus free. According to the CDC, it was probably the passengers who brought the virus aboard.

Of course, if you are ill or recovering from a stomach bug, you might do everybody a favor and put off your travel until the infectious period has passed (it can take a couple of weeks). To reduce your chances of getting sick, the best thing to do is wash your hands - frequently and thoroughly - and keep them out of your mouth.

One more thing: if, like me, you are prone to motion sickness, don't forget to pack your Dramamine.

Dr. Gupta, a neurosurgeon, is a CNN medical correspondent

With reporting by A. Chris Gajilan/New York
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2002, 09:52 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 58
Default Re: NEW ARTICLE ON NORWALK VIRUS

I think there had been more than enough said about the Norwalk Virus - let's focus on something nice instead.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
2013, article, dr, gupta, norwalk, virus

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NEW ARTICLE ON NORWALK VIRUS DSH Celebrity 1 December 11th, 2002 09:36 PM
NEW ARTICLE ON NORWALK VIRUS DSH Carnival Cruise Lines 3 December 11th, 2002 10:49 AM
NEW ARTICLE ON NORWALK VIRUS DSH Norwegian Cruise Lines 1 December 9th, 2002 10:57 PM
NEW ARTICLE ON NORWALK VIRUS DSH Health at Sea 0 December 9th, 2002 06:39 PM
NEW ARTICLE ON NORWALK VIRUS DSH Disney 0 December 9th, 2002 06:38 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:20 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1