In an attempt to lessen the effects of swine flu as the winter months roll in cruise companies are building up their defenses. Public relations director for Princess Cruises, Julie Benson says that because H1N1 and seasonal flu are indistinguishable it is the company’s policy to treat anyone who displays flu like symptoms. She went on to say that Princess had also stepped up their screening process for both passengers and crew members. Those who are suspected of carrying the virus will be confined to quarters and administered with anti-viral medicines.
Benson pointed out that usually all crew members on board the liners were vaccinated for seasonal flu. This year however H1N1 is the circulating strain and the company is working very closely with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to try and source available H1N1 vaccines.
Benson says that all Princess Cruise ships are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using materials that are proven to be effective against flu like germs. She also said that passengers travelling on the ships were given information on how best to avoid becoming sick by doing things like regularly washing their hands. They are also taught how best not to pass the disease on by following polite cough and sneeze practices.