Cruisin’ for the flu season 7



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Picture this: you’re cruising on the high seas, wind in your hair, fresh salty air in your nostrils, having the time of your life, not a care in the world – and then, you come down with the dreaded lurgie.

Before you pack your bags to go on a cruise, you’d better pack yourself off to the doctor to get your flu shot first.

New South Wales Health is urging anyone thinking of taking a holiday cruise to be vaccinated against influenza at least two weeks prior to departure after several recent outbreaks on board ships arriving in Sydney.

Since 1 February, 533 passengers and crew arriving in Sydney on board cruise ships have been recorded as having flu-like symptoms. On average, flu notifications over the first four months of this year have been more then double that of previous years.

Director of Communicable Diseases for NSW Health, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said particular care should be taken by cruise passengers who may be at increased risk of influenza due to the large numbers of people frequently mingling from all pats of the world, for longer periods of time and in close proximity to one another.

“Cruise ships have strong protocols in place for assessing, treating and isolating passengers and crew with suspected influenza, but the best form of prevention is vaccination,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“This is especially important for the elderly, pregnant women and anyone who is at increased risk of pneumonia or other serious complications if they contract influenza.”

Health authorities recommend all travellers get the flu jab whether they’re travelling by sea or air.

NSW Health is currently working with the cruise ship industry to promote the recommendation for influenza vaccination prior to travel among booked passengers.

Before your cruise, you can find more information about influenza outbreaks in travel groups by visiting this website.


Tell us, are you planning on cruising soon? What vaccinations have you had? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Getting a cold on a Cruise ship can happen at any time of the year , I got a very bad cold on my cruise to New Zealand in January, with a cough that lasted several weeks, a lot of people on board had the same cough. I have booked another cruise for March 2016 to the South Pacific islands and I hope it doesn’t happen again, it does spoil your holiday.

  2. Why the scare mongering? I’ve never had a flu shot and never will voluntarily. I’ve been on a number of cruises and had no problems. If you eat a healthy diet with plenty of seasonal fresh fruit and veggies your immune system should be strong enough to fight off any viruses going around. And yes, there is a difference between getting a common cold and the flu. But most will label any sniffle as the flu.

  3. I saw a man turn away and sneeze into his hand today, then give a food shop proprietor money for his purchase with the same hand. No wonder infections spread! If you choose not to be vaccinated against influenza, make sure you follow good hygiene guidelines everywhere!

    Not actually going on a cruise and having a whooping cough vacc tomorrow because we have a new babe in the family and I will be a caregiver.

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