Norovirus can still strike despite everyone’s best efforts, as it did on Royal Caribbean last week.

Plenty is done to prevent a viral outbreak, from hygiene safety drills before sailing, constant cleaning by the crew to even putting a ban on handshakes with officers at welcome parties.

And, of course, the chances of an outbreak at sea are far less than on land.

But what does one do in the midst of a norovirus outbreak?

What are the signs that your ship is affected?

Perhaps it is handy to know how to spot an outbreak in the early stages.

Look out for crew dressed head to toe in protective clothing swabbing tables, chairs and carpets in dining venues and other public areas.

Further along, the crew will be serving food at the buffet line during and doors to the public toilets will be left open so no one has to touch the handles.

The library will also be closed and the crew roped in to a non-stop cleaning and disinfecting regime.

During the outbreak

Anyone diagnosed with the virus or feeling unwell will be requested to stay in their cabin with meals delivered to them.

To lower your risk of getting ill, step up the hand washing regime, especially after using the toilet, before eating and when coming back on board after an excursion.

Also keep in mind that hand sanitisers are not an alternative to soap and water in fighting norovirus according to the CDC.

In addition, do try to minimise use or direct contact with public facilities such as lifts, banisters and public toilets. Use the bathroom in your cabin whenever possible and keep tissues handy to open doors, grab on banisters and call lifts. Remember to dispose them promptly after.

Do also avoid handshakes; especially with the captain as he is the last one you want on the ship to be ill!

Speedy recovery

Most people recover in three days and in the meantime drink as much water as possible to avoid dehydration.

But as the good doctor says, prevention is better than cure.