If you are planning to take a cruise this winter, you may be worried about the media reports of Norovirus on cruise ships. This virus causes a condition called gastroenteritis that irritates your stomach and intestines, often leading to diarrhea and vomiting. While you can be exposed to Noroviruses virtually anywhere, they thrive in close quarters like cruise ships because they are hardy and highly contagious. Since you certainly don’t want to spend your vacation feeling sick, here are 3 tips on how to avoid Norovirus on a cruise ship:
1. Wash Your Hands Frequently
The most important thing that you can do to avoid Norovirus on a cruise ship is to wash and sanitize your hands as frequently as possible! You will find that most cruise ships have staff to dispense hand sanitizer when you enter into the buffets and other busy areas where people congregate. You should also pack your own small bottles of hand sanitizer to use throughout the cruise. While washing your hands with soap and water is preferable to using hand sanitizer, either method will help defend yourself against gastrointestinal disease. You should pay special attention to avoid touching anything that others have touched, especially bathroom doors and railings.
2. Make Sure Food is Protected
One of the things that many people love most about cruise ship vacations is the access to an unlimited buffet. However, this can be one of the areas of the ship where Norovirus is particularly contagious! You should notify staff immediately if you see anyone coughing into the buffet or using their hands to scoop food onto their plates. The best advice is to be the first person at the buffet when the food is still freshly prepared and no one else has eaten yet. Otherwise, just be careful to avoid tepid food as that is a clear signal that it has been out for awhile and may be contaminated. If the food is supposed to be hot, only eat it when it’s hot!
3. Keep Your Immune System Strong
If you keep your immune system strong during your vacation, this can help you to avoid Norovirus on a cruise ship. This means that you should get a good night of sleep each night and stay hydrated at all times. It’s easy to forget to drink fluids while you are splashing around in the pool or relaxing on the beach at a cruise port, so try to remember to drink plenty of water. While it may be tempting to drink alcohol on your cruise, too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and weaken your immune system. Although you may not be completely protected from a viral attack, a strong immune system can fight it off more efficiently.
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We hope that these tips on how to avoid Norovirus on a cruise ship helps you to enjoy a happy and healthy vacation! At Mac’s Pharmacy, we are dedicated to improving your health and well-being, so learn more about how we can assist you with all of your pharmaceutical needs!