Olympians Beware: It's Like A Cruise Ship There!

We've been watching a lot of television, some delayed and some live, from the Olympic Winter Games in Russia this week. 

Last night (well, it was "last night" somewhere), Mexico's lone athlete was on the tube, even though he isn't really from Mexico, but that's another story. He was talking about being in the Olympic Village in Sochi and just in the course of conversation mentioned that many of the athletes had "something happening" in their throats and noses…aka, the 'flu.

A week before the Olympics, we were watching national curling (we do lead an exciting existence!) finals and more than half the competitors had been stricken with illness that was clearly contagious.

Nowhere was the mention of norovirus.

That's in part because norovirus is only linked to cruising when it should be linked to any mass gastro-intestinal sickness that occurs where there are small to large groups of people.

There's yet another misconception about norovirus — and we are not unsympathetic to cruise passengers who have suffered from this, at all. What the Center for Disease Control and Prevention calls a “very hearty virus” that causes stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea can be contracted from contact with an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Cruise ships are among the places ripe for such viruses to spread.

However, there is a report in "The Week" (?) that passengers wanting to avoid getting it should stick to shorter cruises because there are fewer reports of norovirus outbreaks on shorter cruises…and by "shorter" the publication means fewer than seven days. The vast majority of the outbreaks occurred on cruises of seven days or longer.

Hmmm…is it possible that's because the vast majority of cruises are seven days or longer?

Apply that theory to the Olympics and athletes should attend competitions where they will come in contact with fewer people, not where almost 3,000 athletes are "residing" in the same general area.

Yes, 3,000 is about what many cruise ships carry, isn't it?

Celebrity Millennium
14 nights
May 10, 2014
Tokyo, Aomori, Sapporo, Petropavlovsk, Vancouver
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $49

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