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Monkeypox and cruising


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As many of you may know, U.S. government today announced a public health emergency due to Monkeypox virus.

 

Compared to SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID, the monkeypox virus is more easily spread via fomite and close contact, although it's also airborne as SARS-Cov-2 but to a lesser degree.

 

This virus may pose a bigger problem to cruising than SARS-Cov-2 may, since there are so many surfaces on cruise ships that are high touch areas prone to be contaminated by the monekypox virus, which is a close relative of the smallpox virus which has been known to ligner on surfaces and stay infective potentially up to 9 years.

 

Putting already 7 cruises since the 2021 restart under my belt, 5 of which on Canival, and till this day I'm SARS-Cov-2 infection free (knock on the wood). I'm closely monitoring the situation and want to discuss with other health-conscious cruisers out there on how to continue staying safe in the near and longer term.

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I am just curious if you think monkey pox will become an issue with cruising since the government declared it a national emergency yesterday and cases are

rising. 
 

Is there any ways to take a preventative measures with thousands of people one one boat. I imagine most exposure would be low risk but I am just curious if anyone is a bit concerned about it.

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Posted (edited)

No, I certainly don't think so.
Monkeypox is transmitted by close physical contact or by contact with objects that have been in contact with an infected person.


Infection between people only occurs through close contact, and is typically transmitted between people who live together, where infection can occur from the respiratory tract or close contact with body fluids, either directly or indirectly by, for example, sleeping in the same bedding, etc.

 

But like many other diseases, buffets where guests use the same utensils and perhaps even touch food items with their fingers, there is a potential risk of infection.

Edited by hallasm
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Although it seems (according to CDC) that it can be transmitted through fomites and respiratory droplets, it also seems that one would have to be doing a lot of rubbing of skin on those fomites or spending a lot of time up close and personal to those respiratory droplets:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/transmission.html

 

This really seems to be a disease of close, personal contact, i.e. sexual or intimate transmission.  Not casual passing-by-an-infected-person-on-a-cruiseship transmission.

 

I'm not worried about this one. And I am a little bit of a germaphobe, and a natural worrier.  I have always brought and generously used alcohol wipes as well as Clorox wipes.  I'm more concerned with my fellow passengers' disgusting bathroom and food-handling habits. E. coli and norovirus are much more likely to be picked up on a cruise than monkeypox.

 

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31 minutes ago, ShakyBeef said:

Although it seems (according to CDC) that it can be transmitted through fomites and respiratory droplets, it also seems that one would have to be doing a lot of rubbing of skin on those fomites or spending a lot of time up close and personal to those respiratory droplets:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/transmission.html

 

This really seems to be a disease of close, personal contact, i.e. sexual or intimate transmission.  Not casual passing-by-an-infected-person-on-a-cruiseship transmission.

 

The CDC articles on this are a good read.  Some steps the cruise industry has taken seem helpful- this illness feels more like NORO.  So - hand washing is good.  Surface cleaning of door handles and railings and elevator buttons.  60% hand sanitizer seems pretty effective - I noticed less of a focus lately on Washy-Washy at the buffet - he/she needs to be back on station.  I was amazed to read for those of us who are old - the smallpox vaccines taken way back when are pretty effective- like 80%.  For the cabin/laundry staff- gloves and N95 masks are effective when handling soiled laundry.    Congregate Living Settings | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

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The thing about Monkeypox is what is NOT said on most news reports.  Yes, it has become a true public health emergency.....that is true.   But it is a public health emergency for only gay and bi men who are sexually active with multiple partners.   Some studies show that about 95 - 98% of worldwide cases are among this one group.  Why?  So far none of the authorities are talking so we are not sure.  But the fact remains that we are talking about a virus of which 95-98% of the cases are among fewer than 10% of the population The reality is that the risk to women and heterosexual men is negligible.   Perhaps this will change over time, but for now it is the real story.  We recently listened to a long and comprehensive Monkey Pox report on National Public Radio and, although they mentioned that about 1.7 million people (in the USA) have been identified as high risk they never identified that at-risk group.  Bad reporting for political reasons.  There is also a very effective vaccine for Monkey Pox although it is currently in short supply. 

 

Unless this situation changes, Monkey Pox should not be an issue on cruises (except for gay/bi cruises).

 

Hank

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But at what point does it become contagious? Could you board the ship not knowing you have it yet , or just even a crew member, and then pass it on? I imagine there wouldn’t be an outbreak but could you spread it from sitting in the same seats? 

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3 minutes ago, dulcemariamar said:

But at what point does it become contagious? Could you board the ship not knowing you have it yet , or just even a crew member, and then pass it on? I imagine there wouldn’t be an outbreak but could you spread it from sitting in the same seats? 

Not if you wear pants and aren’t sitting there at the same time.

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The CDC is saying that based on past studies, the efficacy rate of a prior smallpox vaccine is 85%.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/clinicians/smallpox-vaccine.html

 

I have been vaccinated from smallpox and do not engage in the behaviors that appear to be the overwhelming source of monkeypox spread. Not to mention that so far, serious illness and death seem to be exceedingly rare. I am not going to spend a single second worrying about catching it on a cruise. 

 

Of course, everyone is entitled to do what makes them feel comfortable, as long as you leave me alone.  🙂

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4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

The thing about Monkeypox is what is NOT said on most news reports.  Yes, it has become a true public health emergency.....that is true.   But it is a public health emergency for only gay and bi men who are sexually active with multiple partners.   Some studies show that about 95 - 98% of worldwide cases are among this one group.  Why?  So far none of the authorities are talking so we are not sure.  But the fact remains that we are talking about a virus of which 95-98% of the cases are among fewer than 10% of the population The reality is that the risk to women and heterosexual men is negligible.   Perhaps this will change over time, but for now it is the real story.  We recently listened to a long and comprehensive Monkey Pox report on National Public Radio and, although they mentioned that about 1.7 million people (in the USA) have been identified as high risk they never identified that at-risk group.  Bad reporting for political reasons.  There is also a very effective vaccine for Monkey Pox although it is currently in short supply. 

 

Unless this situation changes, Monkey Pox should not be an issue on cruises (except for gay/bi cruises).

 

Hank

 

Sounds similar to what was said when AIDs started to rear its ugly head.   It may be true the exposure is greater for some lifestyles.   As we know, early management can prevent it from spreading.  

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

Sounds similar to what was said when AIDs started to rear its ugly head.   It may be true the exposure is greater for some lifestyles.   As we know, early management can prevent it from spreading.  

Monkeypox has been concentrated among men who have sex with multiple men. So that is where the management should be concentrated. Educating that group. The monkeypox vaccince should be targeted to those in that group. 

 

I am not in that group and have all had two smallpox vacinations but the health system must be mobilzed to nip the outbreaks in the bud. 

Edited by Charles4515
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5 hours ago, Hlitner said:

The thing about Monkeypox is what is NOT said on most news reports.  Yes, it has become a true public health emergency.....that is true.   But it is a public health emergency for only gay and bi men who are sexually active with multiple partners.   Some studies show that about 95 - 98% of worldwide cases are among this one group.  Why?  So far none of the authorities are talking so we are not sure.  But the fact remains that we are talking about a virus of which 95-98% of the cases are among fewer than 10% of the population The reality is that the risk to women and heterosexual men is negligible.   Perhaps this will change over time, but for now it is the real story.  We recently listened to a long and comprehensive Monkey Pox report on National Public Radio and, although they mentioned that about 1.7 million people (in the USA) have been identified as high risk they never identified that at-risk group.  Bad reporting for political reasons.  There is also a very effective vaccine for Monkey Pox although it is currently in short supply. 

 

Unless this situation changes, Monkey Pox should not be an issue on cruises (except for gay/bi cruises).

 

You have it right Hank. It is a true public health emergency but some media and politicians seem to be afraid of not being woke if they state that the cases are concentrated among gay men who have multiple partners. There is a vaccine but not enough of it because probably was not profitable to produce large quantities. As it is now should not be an issue on cruises.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

Monkeypox has been concentrated among men who have sex with multiple men. So that is where the management should be concentrated. Educating that group. The monkeypox vaccince should be targeted to those in that group. 

 

I am not in that group and have all had two smallpox vacinations but the health system must be mobilzed to nip the outbreaks in the bud. 

 

Yes, management of the outbreak should be focused.  I, and I don't think anyone else, would dispute that.    

 

Again, these statements sound very similar to what people were saying back in the '80's.  I would not be too complacent.  

Edited by ldubs
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7 hours ago, Hlitner said:

The thing about Monkeypox is what is NOT said on most news reports.  Yes, it has become a true public health emergency.....that is true.   But it is a public health emergency for only gay and bi men who are sexually active with multiple partners.   Some studies show that about 95 - 98% of worldwide cases are among this one group.  Why?  So far none of the authorities are talking so we are not sure.  But the fact remains that we are talking about a virus of which 95-98% of the cases are among fewer than 10% of the population The reality is that the risk to women and heterosexual men is negligible.   Perhaps this will change over time, but for now it is the real story.  We recently listened to a long and comprehensive Monkey Pox report on National Public Radio and, although they mentioned that about 1.7 million people (in the USA) have been identified as high risk they never identified that at-risk group.  Bad reporting for political reasons.  There is also a very effective vaccine for Monkey Pox although it is currently in short supply. 

 

Unless this situation changes, Monkey Pox should not be an issue on cruises (except for gay/bi cruises).

 

Hank

You are telling it like it is (which will few in the media are allowed to say) It is so ironic that with Covid the media would tell you it affects some groups way more than others . With this one they again can not and will not tell the truth.

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I am more concerned about touching serving utensils in the  buffets on ships.  We were on a Celebrity ship earlier this year where masked and gloved servers were serving the food in the buffet.  We were on a Princess ship last week.  It was serve yourself.  This does concern me.

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52 minutes ago, Cpamomma said:

I am more concerned about touching serving utensils in the  buffets on ships.  We were on a Celebrity ship earlier this year where masked and gloved servers were serving the food in the buffet.  We were on a Princess ship last week.  It was serve yourself.  This does concern me.

Well it is prolonged contact so maybe just serve yourself and move on.

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2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

What about sitting on a toilet seat - which usually involves lowering ones pants?

But the apparent mode of transmission is not touching that seat. And there is rarely doubling up as well. Just like STDs are not spread on toilet seats. Get educated folks.

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Everything the CDC has put out is that this is passed primarily through skin to skin contact, not by touching objects or breathing. Not planning on having sustained skin to skin contact on a cruise, so not too concerned. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

Everything the CDC has put out is that this is passed primarily through skin to skin contact, not by touching objects or breathing. Not planning on having sustained skin to skin contact on a cruise, so not too concerned. 

 

Yes, my reading of what the CDC  put out is that would be skin contact with the lesions. 

Edited by Charles4515
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19 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

Sounds similar to what was said when AIDs started to rear its ugly head.   It may be true the exposure is greater for some lifestyles.   As we know, early management can prevent it from spreading.  

The similarity to HIV is indeed striking.  The CDC website mentions "fetish gear" - so some activities and lifestyles seem more at risk.  Being old and boring seems protective.  They are not asking the average healthcare worker to race off and get vaccinated.   

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30 minutes ago, ew101 said:

The similarity to HIV is indeed striking.  The CDC website mentions "fetish gear" - so some activities and lifestyles seem more at risk.  Being old and boring seems protective.  They are not asking the average healthcare worker to race off and get vaccinated.   

 

They won't say gay men who have multipe partners because I guess that is not woke or something so they use code words like fetishes, activities and lifestyles. In any case there is a vaccine available that is in limited supply do to poor policies. Get it out there and target people who engage in risky behavior. 

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