Cruise passengers need flu shots, says expert

Cruise ship passengers should get their vaccinations shipshape if they want to avoid being confined to their cabin because of disease outbreaks, an infectious diseases expert says.

After dealing with more than 50 shipboard outbreaks of infectious diseases in the past decade, Professor Mark Ferson, director of the Sydney Cruise Ship Health Surveillance, says prepare for  cruises in a similar way to a visit to a developing country.

When it comes to disease outbreaks, the main concern is norovirus gastroenteritis but there had also been 18 outbreaks of influenza, he told a communicable diseases conference in Melbourne.

One of the key vaccinations was against flu, he said. And personal hygiene was a major priority.