Information about the Norwalk Virus

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What to take

It seems as though every week we hear of some ship with an outbreak of a gastrointestinal Illness, which we have come to know as the Norwalk virus. The Norwalk virus is a very common cause of nonbacterial gastroenteritis in the U.S. and is not new to cruise ships. It is found on cruise ships around the world. This past year there have been outbreaks in Europe, South America, Alaskan waters and the Caribbean.

The Center for Disease Control works very closely with the cruise lines. The standard they must ascribe to is the highest in the world and continues to be the highest in the world. The CDC feels that the Norwalk virus is a predominantly person to person spread through hand-to-mouth activity which makes it more difficult to control. Because it is person to person contact and spread, the best preventative measure that passengers can take is frequent and thorough handwashing with warm water and soap, wiping your hands off, and keeping your hands out of your mouth.

The Norwalk virus is found in many other venues where people congregate for tow or more days. It is found in schools, hotels, camps, nursing homes and hospitals. Anywhere where people are together. Yes you could contact the virus while on a cruise but the chances of doing so are very small. So go ahead and take that cruise and follow the advice of the CDC.