Research Brief: Improper Cleaning of Cruise Ships May Breed Norovirus

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.