Infection Control and Indoor Environmental Quality are Key to a Successful Cruise Ship Industry Recovery
The industrial hygiene and infection control professionals at Clark Seif Clark provide indoor environmental quality (IEQ) assessments, testing, monitoring, consulting and training services to identify and mitigate exposure risks.
Chatsworth, CA -- In a typical year, millions of people in North America take a cruise on one of hundreds of cruise ships that employ hundreds of thousands of workers, both directly and indirectly. The industry generates billions of dollars in revenue, but this all changed in 2020 when there were several high-profile COVID-19 outbreaks onboard ships and eventually a No Sail Order was issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fortunately, with the success of the COVID vaccine and a widespread understanding of infection control measures, a number of cruise ship operators are gearing up for the industry to resume operations later this year.
Before 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, some wary travelers associated cruise ships with outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal illnesses due to norovirus, but acute gastrointestinal illness is actually relatively infrequent on cruise ships according to the CDC. Other outbreaks that have been linked to cruise ships include influenza, foodborne illnesses, and less commonly, Legionnaires’ disease.
“Germs are everywhere on a cruise ship, including on surfaces, in the water supply, in the food supply and in, or on, all crew members and passengers. Some of these germs can be pathogenic or disease causing,” said Derrick A. Denis, Disaster Ready Emergency Preparedness and Infection Control (DR EPIC) Program Industrial Hygienist for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Outbreaks of infectious diseases with an airborne route of transmission, such as respiratory viruses via measuring droplets >5-10 micrometers (μm) or aerosols measuring
An outbreak of an infectious disease on a cruise ship can also impact future voyages if environmental contamination is not addressed. If the source is the ship, such as poor water quality, then multiple voyages might be affected. It the source is a surface-stable pathogen, then uncleaned and unsanitized surfaces might affect future passengers. In the case of illnesses that are transmitted from one person to another, an infected crew member, who remains onboard, can affect future voyages.
Recent media coverage of various isolated outbreaks on ships and the global COVID-19 pandemic have brought renewed attention to the significance of indoor environmental quality and infection control procedures on these massive ships that hold thousands of souls on board. Ideally cruise lines and passengers alike are doing their part to reduce infections and to get the cruise industry back into rest and relaxation mode.
Clark Seif Clark’s unique expertise in IEQ and infection control is distinctly applicable to the health and safety challenges facing the cruise ship industry. CSC’s experts provide emergency response planning, proactive assessments and audits, 3rd party verification of cleaning and disinfection protocols, environmental testing, personal protective equipment (PPE) training and more. They have even sponsored an educational video about IEQ and preventing the spread of germs on cruise ships that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/sdmeEOhqmm0
To learn more about this or other infection control, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.csceng.com, email email@example.com or call (800) 807-1118.
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.