Ebola Outbreak: Could cruise passengers be in danger?
Lately the news has been flooded with facts and information on the outbreak of the Ebola virus. The Ebola virus affects some animals as well as humans and is spread through body fluids and mucus. The virus can be highly infectious if not handled properly. However, it does not become infectious until the person starts showing the virus’ symptoms. The following is a list of the most common symptoms caused by the Ebola virus:
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
Will there be Ebola outbreaks on cruise ships?
Cruise ships are known for the spread of disease, the most popular being the Norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness that is extremely contagious. Since a cruise ship holds so many people in a small amount of space illnesses are easily spread throughout the ship. It is also a known fact that cruise ships don’t have the best standards on sanitation and that is most likely another cause of a virus outbreak on a cruise ship.
That being said, yes, it is possible that an Ebola outbreak could occur on a cruise ship although it is unlikely.
How to avoid the virus
With more than 3,000 people killed by the virus in West Africa the Centers for Controlled Disease (CDC) has warned travelers to avoid areas with the deadly virus. These areas include Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Lagos and other West African locations. It is also recommended that people avoid cruises that include any location where the virus is present. However, this may not always be possible as the outbreak expands. Recently, there have been cases in both Europe and the United States. There have been no confirmed cases in Florida.
Cruise companies have also stepped in to help avoid any type of outbreak onboard a ship. It has been reported that Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines have cancelled all stops in West Africa due to the spread of Ebola.
If you are on a cruise and worried about getting sick here are few tips to stay healthy:
- Avoid anyone who is sick.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Keep your toiletries (like a toothbrush) away from places they could come in contact with the virus
- Use disposable plastic utensils instead of metal silverware.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by David Castillo Dominici