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Cruising with Norovirus-suggestions?


sylteach

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Some questions: Does this crop up more often on certain cruises or on all of them (specific locations)? I haven't read about too many Alaska cruises having this occur. Would you suggest it would be better to have room service while under code red? I have read that the lines are terrible in the Lido buffet, and that they won't let you have salt, pepper, sugar, or cream. Do they put it on for you? That seems like a lot of work for the staff.

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Would you suggest it would be better to have room service while under code red?

 

I have read that the lines are terrible in the Lido buffet, and that they won't let you have salt, pepper, sugar, or cream. Do they put it on for you? That seems like a lot of work for the staff.

 

We would have had to spent 12 of 14 days eating in our room on our last cruise! That would be an unacceptable thing to me. We just used a lot of Purell. None of us got it. We were very careful about not touching our faces, and we were very lucky.

 

We got to where we'd take extra salt and pepper packets and keep them in pockets/bags so we didn't have to ask the stewards or wait on salt and pepper. (I can't speak to the sugar and cream because we are not coffee drinkers.)

 

Code Red is a HUGE amount of extra work for the crew. We had "corporate partners" (i.e. Photogs, Spa people, etc.) and spouses of crew doing things in the Lido. The lines were slow but not too long. (This was on the Volendam.) I truly felt bad for all the extra hours the crew must have had to put in.

 

The Captain eventually gave everyone free drinks in the Dining Room one night for being so patient. We do not drink alcohol but enjoyed some very good virgin drinks. I thought that was a very gracious gesture.

 

It was an unusual cruise.

 

Robin

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Noro is a *virus*. Purell is ineffective against viruses.

 

(Would someone tell me how I can quote a portion of one's post and get it in that little blue box separate from my comment. I still havent been able to figure it out. Thanks.)

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Norovirus is everywhere! Best place to get it is anywhere large groups of people congregate; hospitals, schools, churches, restaurants, public transportation, etc. As for cruise ships, no itinerary is immune from the virus as it is almost always brought on board by someone already infected. The virus then spreads by poor hygiene habits. Best way to avoid it is to wash your hands thoroughly and often.

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Noro is a *virus*. Purell is ineffective against viruses.

 

(Would someone tell me how I can quote a portion of one's post and get it in that little blue box separate from my comment. I still haven't been able to figure it out. Thanks.)

 

Do you mean like this? When answering a particular question just click the button marked "Quote".

 

Mark.

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Noro is a *virus*. Purell is ineffective against viruses.

It must do some good, or the ships wouldn't go the expense of putting it all over the place, and the trouble of pushing its use.

(Would someone tell me how I can quote a portion of one's post and get it in that little blue box separate from my comment. I still havent been able to figure it out. Thanks.)
Click on the Quote icon in the lower-right corner of the post you wish to quote. If you wish to quote several posts, click the " icon to the right of that before you click Post Reply. If you wish to quote only part of post, highlight and "cut" what you don't want.
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While I can't answer your original question, I can say I have been on HAL's Ryndam

during a code red. Eating in your room all the time would really be a time consuming

thing for you and not necessarily helpful.

 

One tip I will pass on is to pack along your own individual Purell wet wipes/and/or a

small bottle of Purell for your purse, or tote bag.

 

I have found on all six cruises from Alaska to Mexico to New Zealand and Australia that hand washing facilities are not always what they should be and then there you are.....as part of a shore excursion or on your own where you are unable to wash your hands.

 

I have shared my Purell on shore excursions numerous times because most passengers

don't realize this is a problem. I have suggested to HAL before about giving out individual hand wipes to people as they get off in port. I will be writing them again about doing this.

 

Melbourne, Australia (and the rest of Australia) has been experiencing a four year drought.

On our shore excursion there, and before lunch, we only had a "few drops" of water to wash our hands and no soap or Purell.

 

The Volendam crew, well aware of Melbourne's water problems, had washcloths AND

Purell for passengers before boarding the ship.

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Cruzman was correct that Purell (and the like) do not kill viruses. They do, however, make it very difficult for viruses and/or bacteria to grow there. This from a retired RN (me).

We always travel with Lysol wipes which are more effective in the kill area. We wipe down everything in the cabin when we first get there.

Two things that do work: 1.-wash you hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. 2.-if possible, return to your cabin to use the bathroom so that you lessen the chances of contacting any of the many viruses and bacteria that inhabit public bathrooms, no matter how clean they seem. Both of these have been documented as being very helpful in prevention of infection.

We have never, and would not in the future, confine ourselves to room service in the cabin.

----Penny

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Norovirus is everywhere! ... public transportation, etc.
In Nov/Dec '06 there was one Qantas plane that made several trips between CA and Australia infecting people going both ways. My DD and DSiL got it on one of the return trips to CA ... and they hadn't been on a cruise.
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In Nov/Dec '06 there was one Qantas plane that made several trips between CA and Australia infecting people going both ways. My DD and DSiL got it on one of the return trips to CA ... and they hadn't been on a cruise.

 

The captain on our cruise announced that the virus had originated from a Qantas flight bringing cruise passengers to the ship. I guess they knew who 'patient zero' was.

 

We were fanatics about handwashing. We didn't use the public toilets except once or twice. We usually went back to our staterooms.

 

And while I personally believe that Purell is mostly ineffective (see http://www.asm.org/Media/index.asp?bid=42835 ), I think the rubbing you do when you apply it helps slough off the germs.

 

My kids' school was closed a day early for Christmas vacation last year because of a Norwalk-like virus. We had several nursing homes that had outbreaks too. It's not just cruise ships. (I actually believe it's from airplanes. :D)

 

Robin

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1. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers DO kill viruses (see 2) - unfortunately not Norovirus due to its structure. Since the products are OTC, the FDA has jurisdiction over the claims that can be made. The FDA has been "working with" the CDC for years on the virucidal claims that can be made for alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The hangup is that the alcohol is much less effective on hands that are visibly dirty - have proteinaceous material on them.

 

2. In a very lengthy review of the literature, the CDC found that the alcohol-based hand sanitizers were effective against most bacteria and a wide range of viruses - here is a brief excerpt:

 

"Alcohols, when used in concentrations present in alcohol-based hand rubs, also have in vivo activity against several nonenveloped viruses (Table 2). For example, 70% isopropanol and 70% ethanol are more effective than medicated soap or nonmedicated soap in reducing rotavirus titers on fingerpads (137,138). A more recent study using the same test methods evaluated a commercially available product containing 60% ethanol and found that the product reduced the infectivity titers of three nonenveloped viruses (i.e., rotavirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus) by >3 logs (81). Other nonenveloped viruses such as hepatitis A and enteroviruses (e.g., poliovirus) may require 70%--80% alcohol to be reliably inactivated (82,139). However, both 70% ethanol and a 62% ethanol foam product with emollients reduced hepatitis A virus titers on whole hands or fingertips more than nonmedicated soap; both were equally as effective as antimicrobial soap containing 4% chlorhexidine gluconate in reducing reduced viral counts on hands (140). In the same study, both 70% ethanol and the 62% ethanol foam product demonstrated greater virucidal activity against poliovirus than either non-antimicrobial soap or a 4% chlorhexidine gluconate-containing soap"

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It must do some good, or the ships wouldn't go the expense of putting it all over the place, and the trouble of pushing its use.

Click on the Quote icon in the lower-right corner of the post you wish to quote. If you wish to quote several posts, click the " icon to the right of that before you click Post Reply. If you wish to quote only part of post, highlight and "cut" what you don't want.

 

If you edit quoted text, just make sure that you leave the begin and ending quote tags in place. These are at the beginning and end of the text and are enclosed in square brackets []. The beginning one looks like [ quote = jtl513 ; 18160851 ], and the ending one looks like [ / quote ]. I added extraneous spaces, so that my illustration won't be treated as quoted text, but you get the idea, I hope.

 

A common mistake is to trim the quoted text and inadvertantly delete the closing quote tag, which causes the entire text to be treated as ordinary, not quoted text.

 

Paul

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Cruzman was correct that Purell (and the like) do not kill viruses. They do, however, make it very difficult for viruses and/or bacteria to grow there.

 

I have some biology background, and this still doesnt make a whole lot of sense. Purell does kill bacteria, so it would protect agains E-coli and other bacterial infections. Viruses grow and reproduce only inside of living cells. So they would probably still be on the hands after using Purell, ready to be transferred to another surface or another person.

 

I would be interested to hear a medical person from HAL address this issue. I'm not against Purell; I just think it is not protective against Noro.

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If you edit quoted text, just make sure that you leave the begin and ending quote tags in place. These are at the beginning and end of the text and are enclosed in square brackets [].

 

Paul

 

 

Thanks, Paul. Just testing to see if I have it.

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Cruzman was correct that Purell (and the like) do not kill viruses. They do, however, make it very difficult for viruses and/or bacteria to grow there.

 

I have some biology background, and this still doesnt make a whole lot of sense. Purell does kill bacteria, so it would protect agains E-coli and other bacterial infections. Viruses grow and reproduce only inside of living cells. So they would probably still be on the hands after using Purell, ready to be transferred to another surface or another person.

 

I would be interested to hear a medical person from HAL address this issue. I'm not against Purell; I just think it is not protective against Noro.

 

Ah, with a biology background, you would be interested in the MMWR report that I excerpted above. Scroll down to the section on alcohols (if you don't want to read the entire study):

 

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5116a1.htm

 

It has 423 references cited, so is quite comprehensive.

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We encountered a Norovirus outbreak on the QE2 some years ago. Towards the end of the cruise the crew spend many overtime cleaning handrails etc. I never do buffets, but food service over there was very strict. Every time we entered the dining room we had to clean our hands with gel. (it this different stuff than mentioned before??)

 

Towards the end of the cruise we were told only to use own own cabin toilet etc etc. They marked the quarantained cabins with white tissues in the old key lock. and there were quite a lot on the deck above us.

 

Just wash your hands a lot, use your own toilet, don't eat at the buffet, do not touch handrails etc.

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If there is a noro outbreak, don't touch your food directly with your hands unless you have just washed them. For example, don't pick up your bread with your hands if you just touched your silverware because you could have transferred germs onto it. You don't know who touched that silverware before you. Also, don't use your hands to touch your face (rub your eyes, use your finger rub lipstick off your tooth, etc.).

 

Using room service will take longer than usual during a noro outbreak. Everyone confined to their cabins can only get food through room service so it tends to get very slow. I have only been on one cruise with an outbreak problem (salmonella not noro) and room service was taking over 2 hours just for small things like a glass of milk in the late evening. I heard reports of 3+ hours during typical lunch/dinner times just to get a bowl of soup.

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If there is a noro outbreak, don't touch your food directly with your hands unless you have just washed them. For example, don't pick up your bread with your hands if you just touched your silverware because you could have transferred germs onto it. You don't know who touched that silverware before you. Also, don't use your hands to touch your face (rub your eyes, use your finger rub lipstick off your tooth, etc.).

 

Using room service will take longer than usual during a noro outbreak. Everyone confined to their cabins can only get food through room service so it tends to get very slow. I have only been on one cruise with an outbreak problem (salmonella not noro) and room service was taking over 2 hours just for small things like a glass of milk in the late evening. I heard reports of 3+ hours during typical lunch/dinner times just to get a bowl of soup.

 

We were under a Code Red on the Maasdam during our Jan. cruise. Apparently the cruise before us had an outbreak of some kind and we were an hour later in being allowed to board due to sterilization of the ship. The staff were stretched thin as they had to hand you everything - staff put on your salt and pepper, handed you your rolls of course with tongs, etc. They also had the drink fountains roped off and a staff member handed you your drinks i.e. coffee/tea/water/lemonade. The flowers were even taken off the tables. We were not to touch anything in the stores. But strangely enough I think the casino was running but you had to clean the machines off with sterilizing wipes as well as the keyboards at the internet cafe in the library. The books were behind closed doors as well. Just some of the things that were being done to curtail any further outbreaks. We were told to wash, wash, wash our hands and of course we did. After a few days, the Code Red was lifted thankfully. There were also Purel machines going in and out of the dining areas and all public locations. Better to err on the side of caution than to get sick...

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While I can't answer your original question, I can say I have been on HAL's Ryndam

during a code red. Eating in your room all the time would really be a time consuming

thing for you and not necessarily helpful.

 

One tip I will pass on is to pack along your own individual Purell wet wipes/and/or a

small bottle of Purell for your purse, or tote bag.

 

I have found on all six cruises from Alaska to Mexico to New Zealand and Australia that hand washing facilities are not always what they should be and then there you are.....as part of a shore excursion or on your own where you are unable to wash your hands.

 

I have shared my Purell on shore excursions numerous times because most passengers

don't realize this is a problem. I have suggested to HAL before about giving out individual hand wipes to people as they get off in port. I will be writing them again about doing this.

 

Melbourne, Australia (and the rest of Australia) has been experiencing a four year drought.

On our shore excursion there, and before lunch, we only had a "few drops" of water to wash our hands and no soap or Purell.

 

The Volendam crew, well aware of Melbourne's water problems, had washcloths AND

Purell for passengers before boarding the ship.

 

On the January 28th sailing of Zuiderdam we had an ourbreak of Noro and were in Code Red for 5 days. When we were departing for our shore excursions they did hand out individual packets of hand sanitizer. (On All of our Hal cruises --upon returning to the ship from shore, we were always greeted with cold drinks & washcloths as well as the Purell at the foot of the gangway! ) The Lido lines were really not that long as they had extra help dispensing the items. When you took your tray they put the salt & pepper packets on it. In the dining room they served you the rolls & butter instead of putting them on the table and did the same with the salt & pepper. It was a LOT of extra work for the crew but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be for us and I certainly would not take my meals in the cabin.

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On the January 28th sailing of Zuiderdam we had an ourbreak of Noro and were in Code Red for 5 days. When we were departing for our shore excursions they did hand out individual packets of hand sanitizer. The Lido lines were really not that long as they had extra help dispensing the items. When you took your tray they put the salt & pepper packets on it. In the dining room they served you the rolls & butter instead of putting them on the table and did the same with the salt & pepper. It was a LOT of extra work for the crew but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be for us and I certainly would not take my meals in the cabin.

 

Yes, I always take sanitizing wipes. I wipe everything down in the cabin that people mostly touch i.e. toilet seats, toilet flushing button, faucets, remote control, door handles. I do this even when there is no code red. It is a good habit to get into and if everyone did this, it might cut down the risks of catching illnesses. Fortunately, we haven't been sick yet (touch wood). Also, after touching elevator buttons, hand rails, a person needs to be mindful of this and wash thoroughly before touching your face, mouth, eyes, etc.

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On the January 28th sailing of Zuiderdam we had an ourbreak of Noro and were in Code Red for 5 days. When we were departing for our shore excursions they did hand out individual packets of hand sanitizer. (On All of our Hal cruises --upon returning to the ship from shore, we were always greeted with cold drinks & washcloths as well as the Purell at the foot of the gangway! ) The Lido lines were really not that long as they had extra help dispensing the items. When you took your tray they put the salt & pepper packets on it. In the dining room they served you the rolls & butter instead of putting them on the table and did the same with the salt & pepper. It was a LOT of extra work for the crew but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be for us and I certainly would not take my meals in the cabin.

 

I hope the HAL folks are reading this because handing out the packaged wet wipes is

what they should do for all the cruises...maybe it is only during code reds they do this??

 

However, it makes sense to do it on all cruises upon disembarking in port since lots

of people are forced to eat on shore excursions with very dirty hands....yuck!!! Cost prohibitive

to do this? Only HAL knows.

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