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I didn't want to hijack Jeff's thread, so I'm starting a new one. What is it with cruises and the norovirus? [semi-rhetorical question]

The ship loaded four hours late due to having to go through sterilization because of an outbreak of the highly contagious gastro-intestinal norovirus (stomach flu).

Over the past several years we have been hearing about outbreaks on cruise ships all over the world. Seems every few months one ends up in the news with half its passengers being ill. I'm sure there is some reporting bias (i.e. it's a bigger story when it hits a ship than when it hits a school). And obviously being confined with a large number of people in a relatively small space doesn't help (i.e. the norovirus is HIGHLY contagious, and will spread quickly). I also wonder how much "the buffet" plays into it (the hygiene of your fellow passengers is unknown, and they're handling serving utensils, and maybe sneezing and coughing in the vicinity of the food).

I must confess it has made me very resistant to the idea of cruising. The illness just seems to be too prevalent, independent of cruise line or locale. What vacation time I get is valuable, I don't want to spend it (and a lot of money) being violently ill.

I hope for Jeff's sake that the "sterilization" worked and his cruise is uneventful.

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