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Infection Control

Cruise ship docked for 72-hour norovirus cleaning

March 19, 2010
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CHARLESTON, SC — In response to an alarming rate of norovirus infections being contracted by passengers on one of its cruise ships, Celebrity Cruises has taken the vessel Mercury out of commission for 72 hours, according to ABC News.
After ending one cruise early and delaying the start of another, Celebrity Cruises has begun performing its first 72-hour deep cleaning since a similar scare in 2006, the story stated.
According to the story, crews constantly clean elevator buttons, handrails and even poker chips to stop the virus from spreading; however, it is also the responsibility of passengers to remain vigilant and practice proper hygiene.
After 363 out of 1,829 passengers contracted norovirus on the latest trip, Celebrity Cruises has brought in an additional 50 crew members to assist in the cleaning, along with a carpet cleaning company to steam-clean all the carpets on the ship and a sanitation company to bring 12 workers on board to assist in the efforts, the story noted.
Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of cruise review site Cruise Critic, said: "I''ve seen worse, but I haven''t seen worse in a long time. They''re doing the right thing to take it out. Maybe they could have taken it out a cruise earlier."
Due to extenuating circumstances, Celebrity Cruises is offering passengers the chance to cancel without a penalty, and those who take the offer will get a full refund and a certificate for a future cruise equal to 15 percent of the fare paid, the story added.
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