Health Myths: Get the Facts
can't prevent spreading illness on a cruise.
Each year millions of U.S. citizens enjoy cruise vacations. According to the
Cruise Line International Association, in 2003, approximately 8.3 million
passengers embarked from North American ports for their cruise vacation.
Traveling on cruise ships exposes people to new environments and high volumes
of people, including other travelers. Although an infrequent occurrence, this
exposure creates the risk for illness, either from contaminated food, water, or
- more commonly - through person to person contact. Follow these tips to help
prevent the spread of illness:
- Wash your hands
before and after eating, after touching your face and going to the bathroom,
and when your hands are dirty.
- Leave the area
if you see someone get sick (vomiting or diarrhea) and report it to the cruise
staff. You could become sick if you ingest contaminated particles that travel
through the air.
- Take care of
yourself. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. Resting helps rebuild
your immune system. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration.
- Be considerate
of other people's health. If you're ill before taking a cruise, call the cruise
line to determine if there are alternative cruising options.
Tips and Techniques
don't need immunizations unless they are traveling outside the
Vaccines aren't just for travelers and kids. Far too many adults become ill,
are disabled, and die each year from diseases that could easily have been
prevented by vaccines. Thus, everyone from young adults to senior citizens can
benefit from immunizations. Vaccines help prevent infectious diseases and save
lives. Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases
that were once common in this country, including polio, measles, diphtheria,
pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, and
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
- Tetanus-Diphtheria: all adults,
every 10 years
(flu): adults at risk and all those 50 and older
adults at risk and all those 65 and older
- Hepatitis A and
B: adults at risk
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR):
(chickenpox): susceptible adults
- Vaccines for
Adolescent and Adult Immunization
Pregnancy and Reproductive Health
defects cannot be prevented.
Approximately 3000 pregnancies per year in the United States are affected by
serious birth defects of the brain (anencephaly) or spine (spina bifida). Up to
70% of these defects can be prevented if a woman consumes the B vitamin folic
acid daily before pregnancy and through the first trimester. The U.S. Public
Health Service recommends that all women who can become pregnant consume 400
micrograms of folic acid daily to help prevent these serious birth defects.
Since half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it is important to take folic acid