The Clinical Infectious Disease Journal issued a report yesterday after studying why norovirus infection outbreaks occur frequently on cruise ships.
The results were quite telling. Cruise lines always blame the passengers whenever a norovirus outbreak sickens a cruise ship. Some cruise lines know when they have a "sick ship" on their hands. Yet, the cruise line's PR department or sales team will issue a report, exculpating the vessel and crew, but blaming some poor bastard who had the misfortune of buying a cruise ticket and sitting on a dirty toilet seat on the cruise ship.
Well finally we have a credible report. Not some pile of propaganda from the PR people at the Cruise Line International Association, whose "facts" are usually dubious, but from highly trained health care professionals. The medical and hygiene experts covertly evaluated the thoroughness of disinfection cleaning on fifty-six (56) cruise ships over the last three years.
The professionals (Philip C. Carling, Lou Ann Bruno‐Murtha, and Jeffrey K. Griffiths) are tops in their fields. They are from highly respected universities, including Boston University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University Schools of Medicine, Nutrition, and Engineering.
These experts secretly tested whether objects with high potential for fecal contamination, such as toilet seats in cruise ship public restrooms, could be a cause of norovirus breakouts.
The experts' objective tests revealed that only 37% of selected toilet area objects on cruise ships were cleaned on a daily basis. Such low scores may explain why certain cruise ships are prone to infect passengers with norovirus.
The experts' recommendation? "Enhanced public restroom cleaning."
Let's keep it simple, stop blaming the passengers - and clean the damn toilets!