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Health Myths: Get the Facts

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Environmental Health

Myth: You can't prevent spreading illness on a cruise.

Fact: 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.

Cruising Tips
http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/pub/CruisingTips/cruisingtips.htm

Handwashing Tips and Techniques
http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/pub/Handwashing/HandwashingTips.htm

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