Posts Tagged ‘H1N1’

Cruise liners prepare for H1N1

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

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.

Cruise ships make sure they are prepared for H1N1

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Cruise ships have already put in place systems for screening passengers for signs of H1N1. For a long time now most cruise companies have required passengers to fill in questionnaires about their health and this summer most cruise liners have implemented checks for passengers exhibiting signs of illness who will then be subject to more thorough examination by medical officers on board cruise ships.

MSC Cruises, an Italian company has already started to use a thermal imaging camera to scan all of its passengers as they board. The cameras are in place across all eleven of the lines ships. The thermal camera looks for signs that a passenger’s body temperature is at an abnormally high temperature, one of the first signs that a person is infected by a virus.

Spokeswoman fir MSC Cruises, Cheryl Fenske said that the cameras were a useful and non intrusive way to check whether people were a risk. She said that they could check for even the earliest sign of infection. Along with checking people’s body temperatures and watching for external signs of the virus such as a runny nose, coughing and sneezing, Fenske said that all MSC Cruises now supply hand sanitizing lotion throughout public areas. The cruise lines in-cabin television service is also running a video called How to Stay Safe across its network to explain to passengers the best way to avoid contracting a virus.

The cruise line industry has not yet seen any major outbreaks of ‘flu and with autumn coming improved vigilance will hopefully keep it that way.