Earlier this month, we reported that researchers in Canada concluded that norovirus can spread by air, according to a publication in the highly respected Clinical Infectious Diseases. Eight doctors participated in a study of norovirus and determined that norovirus can be transmitted in an airborne form.
Researchers collected air samples (about 3 feet away from the sick patients) and then tested areas further away, such as by the door of patient rooms and down the hall at nursing stations.
A reporter for HealthDay News / U.S. News and World Report wrote an article titled ‘Cruise Ship’ Norovirus Bug Can Spread by Air, Study Finds, saying that "notorious bugs that have infected scores of people and ruined countless cruise ship vacations — can spread through the air and infect people several feet away, according to new research."
Airborne concentrations of norovirus "ranged from 13 to 2,350 particles per cubic meter of air." As few as 20 norovirus particles can infect someone.
The cruise industry had been misleading the public for years that the virus is primarily brought aboard by passengers, whereas it is more likely caused by a combination of contaminated food and/or water, crew members working while infected and poor cleaning practices.
Now, irrespective of how the virus came on the ship, the cruise lines have to deal with the reality that the nasty virus spreads by air. That’s particularly troublesome considering the cramped spaces on cruise ships. If infected norovirus particles can float down a hallway to a nurse’s station, the disease can just as easily float down the hall on a cruise ship or find its way into the air-conditioning ducts.
News station WWLP jusr ran a story on the issue/ (See video below)
Few media outlets have discussed this news. Travel publications are staying away from the news. But when the news get out, expect the cruise lines and CLIA to launch a campaign of misinformation.
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