Norovirus infections consist of diarrhoea and vommiting. They are also easily transmitted from person to person, making them a common problem in the community.
To prevent these outbreaks cruise liners have had to increase infection control procedures which, after recently travelling on one, I feel are highly effective and should be taken note of.
- Before embarking all passengers have to fill out a 'health questionnaire'. If a passenger has been unwell in the past 7 days this is known before departure and infection control procedures can be implemented quickly.
- When on the ship it seems you can't walk more than 10 meters before you see an alcohol gel hand dispenser. If you try and avoid these it won't be long before a staff member greats you with a friendly squirt of hand gel before dinner. Alcohol gel is highly effective at killing viruses, that can be transmitted via hand to hand contact, which reduces the chances of an outbreak occurring.
As well as this, staff regularly disinfect the corridors and other communal areas.
If, After all of these measures, a passenger becomes ill then they are immediately issolated from other passengers. This may not be ideal for the individual but it does prevent a large outbreak from occurring.
I feel that cruise liners take infection control very seriously and deal with it effectively. Therefore, perhaps schools and hospitals should stand up and take note in this fight against infection.