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Study links restroom cleanliness to norovirus outbreaks

November 04, 2009
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BOSTON — A recent study found a link between improperly cleaned restrooms aboard cruise ships and the likelihood of an outbreak of norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal infection whose eradication requires extensive cleaning of surfaces, according to the United Press International.
According to the story, the study by scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine, Carney Hospital, the Cambridge Health Alliance and the Tufts University School of Medicine is said to be the first environmental hygiene study aboard cruise ships.
Researchers inspected 273 randomly selected public restrooms aboard various ships and found only 37 percent were cleaned daily, the story stated.
The research, which appears in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, found baby changing tables to be the least cleaned object in cruise ship restrooms, the story noted.
Researchers said they found the thoroughness of cleaning did not differ by cruise line and did not correlate with U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program inspection scores that averaged 97 out of a possible 100 points for the 273 study vessels, the story added.
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