Research Brief: Improper Cleaning of Cruise Ships May Breed Norovirus

CIRI Staff

A recent report published for the Infectious Diseases Society of America claims that norovirus infection outbreaks are a commonplace occurrence in enclosed environments or populations, such as those found on cruise ships.


Such outbreaks have been linked to improper and inadequate cleaning practices. To verify that connection, studies were conducted of the methods employed for cleaning items, such as toilet seats, flushing mechanisms (button or lever), changing tables and handles for stalls and restrooms. The results indicated that only 37% of the restrooms on the 56 vessels examined were cleaned thoroughly each day.


The studies—conducted over a three-year period—also acknowledged that improving the thoroughness of disinfection cleaning (TDC) on these ships may thwart or reduce norovirus outbreaks.

 

Abstract



 

Research Brief: Improper Cleaning of Cruise Ships May Breed Norovirus:  Created on November 28th, 2009.  Last Modified on November 28th, 2009

1 Comments

You must be logged in to comment:

Forgot your password?   Don't have an account?

Lynn Krafft · 9 years ago

"The results indicated that only 37% of the restrooms on the 56 vessels examined were cleaned thoroughly each day."

While that may be true, the study misses the point. The problem lies with the source of the initial contamination and then subsequent recontamination of these surfaces no matter how often or fast they are cleaned, hygienically or otherwise.

The difficulty here is similar to that confronted by the owner of a car with damaged bodywork due to parking lot carelessness. He can get the car body repaired, but until he learns to park away from people who slam doors into his vehicle, he will continue to have dings to repair.

Repeatedly fixing the damage (cleaning) is not the solution as long as the door slammers (unhygienic people) are anywhere around.

Since the norovirus is unique to the human intestinal tract, the only solution to its being spread to surfaces where others can pick it up is implementing proper personal hygiene, careful handwashing after bowel movements (scientific term is defecation), to be precise.

Picture a little kid running through a large building dropping popcorn as he goes. Is the solution to pick up popcorn litter using bigger vacuums or vacuuming more often, or is it to stop the kid and take away his popcorn?

How much of a study do we need to answer that one?

The cleaning industry is being asked to do the impossible when human disease spreaders cannot be controlled.

April 16th, 2010 | 10:03am Reply

CIRIscience.org Account Registration

Fill in the form below for basic site access (commenting, etc).
Looking for more? Become a CIRI Member...