If you are planning on going on a cruise, a new report shows you have a 1 in 20 chance of coming down with a diarrheal illness. This is an increase of 9 times over a previous study in 2001. While not thrilling news for cruise goers, the silver lining is showing that Cruise ships are doing a much better job keeping the ships clean with an average environmental score of 95 out of 100.
Researchers led by Dr. Elaine Cramer analyzed cases of gastroenteritis reported on cruise ships calling at U.S. ports during a four-year period.
The study showed gastroenteritis outbreaks per 1,000 cruises increased overall from 0.65 in 2001 to 5.46 in 2004. However, ship environmental inspection scores were high during the study period, with an average score of 95 on a 100-point scale.
Noroviruses are the likely suspects, said Cramer, medical epidemiologist with the Vessel Sanitation Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘We suspect that people are probably coming on board with the virus,’ said Dave Forney, chief of the CDC`s Vessel Sanitation Program. ‘On a cruise ship, people are out and about in very public areas, and so we have this depositing of the virus on various surfaces that then would be easily picked up by others.’ via Monsters and Critics.