Staying healthy is largely a game of numbers. Among the 60,000 germs per year, only about one or two percent are potentially harmful. Avoiding germ hotspots can help reduce the risk of becoming ill, and lifescript.com recently published its list of eight such hotspots with Cruise Ships among them.
Cruise ships carrying thousands of people in enclosed areas can act as incubators for disease – especially the norovirus – which in recent years has been known to sicken hundreds of passengers on a single cruise. Noroviruses can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, are resistant to routine cleaning procedures.
Lifescript reports that the handrails on the ship are often the culprits, along with shared areas such as dining rooms, drinking fountains, and public restrooms.
A cruise wouldn’t be much fun if you never went to these places – and the solution is easy: Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, and especially before smoking, eating, or touching your face.
The cleanliness of a ship’s bathroom may be correlated to your likelihood of becoming sick. Researchers found that only 37% of nearly 300 randomly selected public restrooms on cruise ships were cleaned daily. The report also noted that there was a substantial risk for washed hands to become contaminated when exiting a public restroom – since only 35% of the door knobs were cleaned daily.
Among the other germiest places were grocery stores, shopping malls, playgrounds, public restrooms, offices, restaurants, and libraries.