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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Norovirus soon to be a thing of the past!

The Seattle Times recently carried a story regarding how close scientists are to developing a vaccine for the norovirus.
I tend to take stories like this with a pinch of salt as the norovirus evolves so rapidly, (as of right now there are over thirty known varieties), it always seems a little unrealistic to me. Still if the vaccine does work this could be great news for cruisers.

Not just cruisers either. I know cruise ships with the norovirus onboard always seem to be on the news but cruise ship infections only account for 4% of all norovirus infections worldwide. By far the majority of infections occur in hospitals and nursing homes, (60%), with schools accounting for another 4%.
Apparently scientists at Arizona state University think a vaccine, in the form of a nasal spray, may be as close as five years away. The first experimental vaccines worked well in a test last year on a trial of 100 people - About two thirds of those who were given the vaccine were protected from infection from one particular strain of norovirus. The problem is any commercial vaccine would need to cover you for multiple strains of the virus - something that complicates matter quite a bit according to the scientists working on it.

I've always thought it a pity that the norovirus is such a big deal on a cruise ship. If everyone followed basic hygiene and washed their hands thoroughly it wouldn't be a problem. A statistic I found quite disturbing however states that although 83% of people say they do this in reality only 17% do!!!!!
It's no wonder the norovirus is such an issue!

Have any of you ever been on a cruise with a norovirus outbreak? What happened? Did it ruin your cruise?

Happy cruising


  1. I was aboard the Carnival Cruise Line (Carnival Glory) in October of 2010. There was a Norovirus outbreak on the third day of the cruise. The people across the hall got sick, and soon me and my husband were sick as well. It was horrible-- practically ruined the cruise. I know this stuff really can't be prevented, well, actually I think it can. So people-- please wash your hands often! dont ruin someone's cruise!

  2. WOW! Anonymous, I was aboard the same time as you-- same ship and all! WOW! My family did not catch the virus, but we were definitely worried once the news got out. We most definitely washed our hands more (in fact, I noticed others washing their hands more). It didnt ruin the cruise, but it could have been better.

  3. I think it's important that people realize these outbreaks are not very common. There are millions of cruise lines, and few incidents each year....people need to chill out, and just enjoy their cruise. By the way, Carnival Cruises suck. Disney all the way