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.................Norwalk Like Virus II
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NLV, CRUISE SHIPS AND VESSEL SANITATION

 

Overall, there has been a decline in the relative number of gastroenteritis outbreaks on cruise ships. "We've seen a decline in the relative number of gastroenteritis outbreaks since 1990. It just looks like there are more outbreaks, because there are more ships and passengers at sea." Dr. Elaine Cramer, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist.

Less than .01% of cruise line passengers have been affected with NLV. 1400 reported cases out of a 2002 estimated passenger total of 7.4 million.

Cruise ships adhere to an extensive cleanliness and sanitation protocol, in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the results of these programs and inspections are available to the public.

Every vessel that has a foreign itinerary, carries 13 or more passengers, and calls on a U.S. port is subject to UN-announced twice-yearly inspections and re-inspection by CDC staff. The ship is scored on a 100-point scale with a passing score of 86 or above. Ships most recently affected by NLV scored 96 or above out of 100 possible points in the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).

The CDC established the Vessel Sanitation Program in the early 1970's as a cooperative activity with the cruise ship industry. Cruise lines and the CDC work closely together during the entire life of a ship. The CDC provides guidelines, reviews plans and conducts on-site inspections of all new ships and renovations. Cruise lines continue to work with the CDC to maintain the ship through regular inspections, crew training and passenger education.

 
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