Cruise Ship Inspections by CDC are Dismal
Going on a cruise can be exciting. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and see new places. It’s a chance to get away from it all and enjoy being pampered for a few days out on the open sea. However, all this excitement can turn into misery when you are infected with a gastrointestinal disease such as Norovirus.
Infections on cruise ships
Cruise ships are like luxury hotels floating on the sea. The difference is that people are contained on a small area for an extended period of time. When a bug finds its way onto the ship, it is more likely to make a big impact.
Norovirus is notorious for causing havoc on cruise ships. This highly contagious virus spreads when an infected person handles food, water or other surfaces. People who come into contact with the contaminated surfaces, water or food are likely to be infected.
Norovirus infections result in a stomach flu. This usually lasts for three days and includes symptoms, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps as well as vomiting. Most people are able to recover from the stomach flu without seeking medical treatment. However, those who suffer severe diarrhea and vomiting may require rehydration by administering intravenous fluids or liquids and, in cases of elderly or infirm individuals, it can result in extended hospitalization stays and even death.
Enter the CDC
In an effort to eliminate the spread of gastrointestinal infections such as Norovirus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) implemented the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP). This program involves a surprise inspection of cruise ships when they are docked at a US port. Each cruise ship is inspected twice a year and scored on a 100-point scale. Ships are considered to have failed if they score below 85 points.
The inspections look at various key sanitation issues on cruise ships including water systems, kitchens, dining halls, swimming pools, laundry services, Jacuzzis and HVAC systems. CDC inspectors concentrate their efforts on areas that are common sites of contamination.
The results of the inspection are posted on the CDC website. A recent inspection of the Explorer of the Seas saw the cruise ship score 91 points for various sanitation infringements. Despite this, the cruise ship has yet to submit a report to the CDC showing that it has corrected the violations that were identified.
If you’re planning a cruise, it is important to check the CDC’s Inspection Summary Report. This is a great way to ensure that you’ll be living on a sanitary ship for your cruise. Suing a cruise ship for negligence resulting in an infection can be difficult unless other passengers also suffered the same infection.
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