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I have noticed the coughing gets worse in direct proportion to the length of the cruise. Usually 3 days or so before the end it becomes very noticeable.
I think it's from flying and then people show symptoms usually about a week or so after boarding.

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Just saying....about people with coughs.  Do not assume they are all infectious.  I have asthma that is vapor sensitive.  This means that scents set my lungs off with violent coughing.  On our last cruise in June, it was a *****.  I carried and used my inhaler all over the ship.  Maybe the smell of cleaning stuff?  Maybe someone's perfume walking by me?  Whatever was in the air?

There are people with other non-infectious issues that cause coughing. 

I only know that I got the evil eye from lots of people when I was having an asthma attack......  I understand what they were thinking, and sympathetic to their take, but leaving the room while coughing to use the inhaler seemed to be the most polite move.   Though staying in place (noisily) and using the inhaler might have comforted a few folks......

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OOOH, I just got censored on Cruise Critic.  For what it's worth, the original statement was " On our last cruise in June, it [the asthma] was a....female dog.  Didn't want you to think I'd said something worse....

 

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Goodness people, we are talking about the "common cold" not ebola. Medical advice is generally that one needn't stay away from others as long as one feels alright and there is no fever or other symptoms of flu. Most adults get 2-3 colds per year no matter what one does to "protect" against them. More, when there is frequent contact with children.

 

5 hours ago, sandyss said:

On the ship tour that we took at Reykjavik, there were several people on the bus with terrible hacking coughs.  They either didn't want to pay for a visit to the ship doctor, or didn't have trip insurance, or most likely, didn't care if they infected other people.

 

 

Not everyone with a cough is contagious. I have a respiratory condition that leaves me with a lingering, hacking cough for weeks after having a cold. 

 

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On 9/1/2019 at 4:21 PM, Hope to sail soon said:

I am not a germaphobe.  In fact, I believe that exposure to germs helps develop my immune system.  However, my attitude changes when I travel.  I use my arm for support on escalators and stairs.  I use antiseptic wipes on my tray table, arm rests, seat belt buckle, etc. on airplanes.  Once on the ship, I use my knuckle on elevator buttons.  I use the sanitizer dispensers at the dining venues both before and after meals.  I avoid using the public restrooms.  I wash my hands with soap and water upon returning to the stateroom.  Despite these precautions, I have managed to catch a cold on several of our cruises. 

 

When I was a child, we were taught to cough into our hands to avoid spreading germs.  And then the germs on our hands were transferred to everything that we touched.  Now the protocol is to cough into our elbow.  However, there are still people who cough into their hands.

 

One area where I cannot control what my hands are touching is on excursions--and not going on excursions is not an option.  For safety reasons, I use the railings on the stairs to and from the tenders.  If we are seated at the rear of the bus, I have to use the rails at the stairs at the back door.  The people who are coughing into their hands on the bus are spreading their cold germs to everyone who uses the railings after they use them.

 

With cold and flu season coming up, let's all help everyone stay well!  We'll all enjoy our cruises more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should ask this in the "Ask a cruise question" forum as it has nothing to do with Holland America cruises. 

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23 hours ago, sandyss said:

There often are people with horrible coughs on ship excursions.  With the recirculating air on buses, everyone else is exposed.   

 

Sometimes they are not sick.  My husband's blood pressure medication was changed last month and a side effect was a very croupy-sounding cough. It was awful.   If I did not know better, I would not want to be within ten feet.  That medication got changed again and the cough is now gone.

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Three tips for preventing illness:

 

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.

 

I last had the flu in 1975.  My last cold was in 1989.  I don't get flu shots. In fact, as I approach 70, I do not take any prescription medication except prophylactically when traveling internationally.  A combination of good genes, good health, and good luck.

 

I wash my hands, wash my hands, and wash my hands.

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My husband has allergic rhinitis. He sneezed once while passing a woman on the music walk area of Koningsdam and I kid you not she actually screamed 😲 ...talk about blowing things out of proportion 😂

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On ‎9‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 3:35 PM, cowmilker said:

The incubation period for the common cold is 72 hours (not 7 days).  You are contagious, though, the day before you develop symptoms (in other words, on day 2, when you don't know you have it).  You remain contagious for a week or so.

Transmission is almost entirely person-to-person, not person-to some surface-to other person.  The second is of course possible, but you're most likely to catch a cold directly from the person who has it.  All the hand wiping/surface wiping on earth won't stop those airborne droplets.

This means that the most risky place to be on a cruise ship is the elevator. Everything else pales in comparison.

A cold is no big deal except when it leads to a more serious respiratory situation (bronchitis, for example).  However, even if it doesn't, I don't want one on a cruise.

The Centers for Disease Control experts disagree with you.

Although the easiest means of viral infection is direct person to person touch, there are many viruses that survive for many hours, days, and even weeks on a completely sterile surface.

The stories about aerosolized contamination of viral spores are mostly just stories. Unless someone sneezes in your face or vomits right in front of you, the spores quickly drop to the floor and do not infect you - unless you happen to be on the floor.

 

The CDC experts claim that the most risky places to go on a cruise ship - especially during the first 48 hours of your cruise - are the self-service buffet and the public toilets.

 

With dozens to hundreds to thousands of people touching the same serving utensils in the buffet, the odds are seriously stacked against you. Then you add those people raised by wolves who are putting their fingers/hands into the food, eating things while in the buffet line, tasting things and putting them back on the buffet, dropping things onto the floor and putting them back on the buffet. It is a miracle that more people do not get ill on a ship.

 

Passengers who are experiencing stomach / intestinal problems will often opt to use a public toilet:

1) Because there is not enough time to get safely back to their cabin.

2) Because they prefer to make a mess in a public toilet rather than the one in their cabin.

 

If you can avoid the buffet and public toilets for the first 48 hours of your cruise, those who have a virus and refuse to do anything about it are now either recovering (and less contagious) or are too sick to go to the buffet and public toilet.

On any large cruise ship, there are people with viruses - particularly noro-viruses - reporting every day. But the Epi-Curve (the graph that logs the frequency and percentage of reporting people) is normally lowest on Day 3 of the voyage. That is when those who brought the virus with them are either recovering or confined to cabins; and those who caught the virus from them have not yet started to display symptoms. From that point forward, controlling the transmission factors becomes easier, more organized, and safer for you.

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16 minutes ago, Donald said:

the easiest means of viral infection is direct person to person touch,

 

That is exactly what I said. 🙂  In fact, I got that stat about the whole 72 hour incubation period from. . . the CDC.

I was not talking about norovirus or any other GI thing. (BTW, one of the things we like most about HAL is the don't-serve-yourself buffet.) I was talking about upper respiratory infections.  They are very different.

People sneeze and cough right in your face --- on the elevators.  You're right up close and there is no place to go.

I'll avoid them, thanks very much.

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I read somewhere recently (in the past 2 or 3 months) that people tend to get sick from air travel and cruises because the air is dry in the airplane cabin and indoor areas of ships.  Once the nasal passage dry out, they can't protect anyone from colds/flu/ etc.  After reading that, I'm going to take some nasal rinse and bought a tube of nasal lubricant gel.   Hoping it will help prevent getting the "cruise crud".   

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On 9/1/2019 at 6:29 PM, Tennessee Titan said:

If there are a lot of people coughing in a public place, get out!

This is the problem in my opinion for those who take precautions like the OP.   We went on a land tour in January and one rude person with a horrible virus infected the whole bus.  He did not even cover his mouth..hands would have been a big improvement for him.   Some gave him a mask and he just blew his nose into it.   The cough was so bad people thought he had lung cancer or emphysema.  I said no, his wife had the same thing, just more courteous.   

No matter what you do it is difficult to stop the airborne illnesses especially if fellow travelers do not attempt to keep their germs to themselves.

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We were on a 103 day world cruise and by the end of the cruise, almost everyone had been ill with an upper respiratory infection at least once. Some people would come to the theatre for lectures or evening shows and sit and cough, continually. We would change our seats, and within a few minutes other coughs would be heard in our general vicinity. I think that it is practically impossible to escape from catching a cold on a longer cruise. Close quarters wherever you go, and lack of good prevention from those that will be infecting others.

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We try to really take in all the immune booster supplements and foods we can before we cruise and pack a ton of medicinals to help any illness run its course rapidly.  Our family doctor has advised us on ways to help with nasal and chest congestion, so that things don't get out of control.  

 

I was cavalier about this last month for our time in Alaska, and indeed ended up on antibiotics.  Which is why I've been posting too much  -- recuperating and dreaming about our next cruise.  🤷‍♀️

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I am not a fanatic about wiping things down or worrying about who touches things in the Lido.  You’re going to be exposed to germs no matter what.  I used to get sick on cruises but my ENT suggested using a NeilMed sinus rinse twice a day.  It cleans all the germs out of my nose and sinuses and I haven’t been sick since I’ve started doing that.  You can’t use tap water but I take a survival filter pump that I bought on Amazon.   I fill 2-3 empty water bottles at a time with the filtered water, add the needed salt packets that come in the kit and then use that water 2 times a day for flushes.  I then pump more water into the bottles as needed.  It’s a little bit of a pain but I feel it keeps me healthy. 

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For what it's worth I'll add one more piece of advice. In the Suites the tubs have Jacuzzi type jets and soaking options. I returned recently from 14 day and developed UTI (E-Coli was cultured) . Highly unusual for a male and the only way I could have gotten it was from this tub. Bacteria can exist in these  environments for a long time according to my DR.  Conclusion... just use the shower.

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In addition to the many good suggestions already posted, I always carry a good supply of pens with me so I can sign various bills, receipts, forms, etc. using my own pen rather than using a pen that has been handled by unknown numbers of people who may be in varying stages of health.

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