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Summit at Sea delegates hear about industry's work on minimising the introduction and spread of norovirus

Summit at Sea delegates hear about industry's work on minimising the introduction and spread of norovirus
Delegates attending the second day of CLIA's inaugural Summit at Sea on board MSC Preziosa heard details of the industry's partnership with renowned experts and how cutting edge research is being undertaken to help minimise the introduction and spread of gastrointestinal illness on board cruise ships. 

The work includes engagement with those developing a vaccine whilst ensuring prevention and response plans are continually advanced to take into account the very latest research on successfully dealing with outbreaks of the virus and taking the right steps to minimise their occurrence.

CLIA svp for technical and regulatory affairs, Bud Darr, said the work being undertaken with leading researchers, 'is ground-breaking and demonstrates the industry's leadership in the public health arena.'  He said 'I am really excited about this collaboration and look forward to the results in due course regarding effectiveness of substances against human norovirus. This is an ongoing journey to find good solutions and this industry is highly committed to leading the way.'

Engagement with organisations such as WHO (World Health Organisation), the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and SHIPSAN (Ship Sanitation Programme and Coordinated Action for the Control of Communicable Diseases in Cruise Ships and Ferries) is producing results and this collaborative approach ensures visibility of the detailed work being undertaken by the industry towards reducing the introduction and spread of gastrointestinal illness on cruise ships.

Delegates also heard case studies from the association's Charity of Choice - Mercy Ships - which operates floating hospitals that provide training for medical professionals along with curative surgical interventions.  Sarah Balser of Mercy Ships described that on occasions, there can be 7,000 people a day queuing for assessment for free surgery with many crossing borders so it is essential the ships have strict infection control procedures.

Telemedicine was also a subject for discussion as it has proven to be helpful in specialist areas such as when dealing with children.

During a destination development business session delegates heard that within today's digital world, cruise passengers are much more knowledgeable on destinations and what they have to offer, and that going forward shore excursions need to adapt and change to meet the visitor expectation - tours which are innovative and where technology is expected to play a greater role as mobile platforms continue to evolve.