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Cruise cough

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    Cruise cough

    From time to time on these hallowed pages there is mention of "cruise cough".

    Both my wife and I developed this on a cruise last Autumn, quite severely in the case of my wife, and just a one night taster on another cruise ship two weeks ago in an air conditioned cabin with no natural ventilation has brought it all back, inhalers and all.

    Does anyone have experience of what exactly it is in air conditioning systems that sets off such a cough and whether or not it is possible to actually turn off the systems within cabins? And does anyone with previous experience know just how long should we leave it before we venture on another cruise - presumably at least until next year?

    Any advice appreciated.
    Last edited by BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry; 24th April 2013, 08:08 PM.

    #2
    I've just come off a 4 night cruise and whilst I was fine, the other three all ended up with a cough. It seemed to be generally thought that it was the air conditioning that caused it, from other people that we chatted to.

    I, too, would be interested in any information that could be given for the cause............................................. ......Carol

    Comment


      #3
      If you google 'Air Con Cough' there is quite a lot of information/debate. Mind you, it may not be very scientific! I found this:

      Yes! Air conditioning systems can increase chest and respiratory problems b/c germs and fungus can live, grow, and spread via the system. You might ask when the last time the filter was changed ... ?

      Consider this: Central air-conditioning increases the chances of the spread of communicable respiratory diseases. There is no fresh air ventilation --- the same air re-circulates all the time. Ack!

      I'd suggest you look into perhaps an herbal respiratory spray that you can inhale occasionally to clear your lungs. For example, sprays with COLLOIDAL SILVER provide an excellent natural alternative for the lungs, asthma, bronchitis to help you breathe easy and stay healthy.

      Read more: Allergies Forum - dry cough and irritated airways from AC Allergies Forum - dry cough and irritated airways from AC
      Follow us: @ehealthforums on Twitter

      (I'm not recommending the advice or product!)
      See my cruise blog: HERE

      Comment


        #4
        There is nothing in air conditioning that can give you a cough. It's a sealed system. Air is recirculated with a % of "fresh" added. The air is also passed over filter banks that trap some solids. But air con does dry the air out, and sometimes to low levels. This can affect the respiratory system and you ends up with a cough. There is a but here as well .............. The water extracted by the air conditioning has to drain away, if it doesn't ............. This can be nasty.
        Also on a cruise you are with a number of people who may not trap the contents of sneezes when it happens, this doesn't help either.
        Same with planes as well by the way. Over the years the ammount of fresh air sent into the cabin has been reduced, in a plane this does help with reducing costs. Not so on a ship.

        Comment


          #5
          Its the filters in the air conditioners anyone that has worked I a air-conditioned office will know that when the filters are not changed on a regular basis cases of Colds Flue & Headaches go up, Change the filters & they fall, Now since Cruise lines have banned Smoking inside of ships the filters are not changed as often!! as they think that they don't need to! But they most certainly do, The same thing happened when they banned smoking on Planes, Its a matter of 2 steps forward but 1 step back. The air smells cleaner but that's a illusion its actually more contaminated than before.
          ]

          Comment


            #6
            Simple solution to the dry throat that causes such a condition.

            Improvise something that allows the mositure to be sucked out of the cabin air overnight and not out of you, hence resulting in a very dry throat.

            A face cloth placed, anywhere in the cabin, in any container, (the ice bucket will do), with a small amount of water in the bottom, and, if the amount of water is small enough, you will see the next morning just how much has been evaporated by the usage of the air con.

            We don't often have need to go through this palaver but it has worked for us.

            I thought it was common knowledge!

            Comment


              #7
              Readers of the 'Cruise Gadgets' thread I wrote a few weeks ago will know that I believe this cough is due to the aircon removing moisture from the air within the cabin so I've purchased a portable humidifier which I intend to take on my next cruise. The model I found isn't expensive so if it doesn't cure it I'm not going to be £squillions out of pocket. For more details read the last few posts of this thread
              http://www.cruises.co.uk/770-technol...s_cruises.html

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by BinleyBilly, Binley, Coventry View Post
                From time to time on these hallowed pages there is mention of "cruise cough".

                Both my wife and I developed this on a cruise last Autumn, quite severely in the case of my wife, and just a one night taster on another cruise ship two weeks ago in an air conditioned cabin with no natural ventilation has brought it all back, inhalers and all.

                Does anyone have experience of what exactly it is in air conditioning systems that sets off such a cough and whether or not it is possible to actually turn off the systems within cabins? And does anyone with previous experience know just how long should we leave it before we venture on another cruise - presumably at least until next year?

                Any advice appreciated.
                Have you ever tried using First Defence, available from all Chemists, it really seems to work and now wouldn't cruise or fly without it. Let others catch the cough not you
                sigpic
                Wen

                Comment


                  #9
                  I wonder if it is the older ships that have more problems than the newer ones.
                  The crew change the filters and clean the system out but that would not stop a virus or bacteria spreading via the aircon.
                  Arcadia was one ship I got the ships cough twice the first time It was a very nasty chest infection not as bad second time around .
                  Started to get a cough on Constellation last year ,and heard one or two coughing on Eclipse .
                  May try that First defence though better safe than sorry...Taffy
                  ​Taffy

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Seacoasters, Hampshire View Post
                    Have you ever tried using First Defence, available from all Chemists, it really seems to work and now wouldn't cruise or fly without it. Let others catch the cough not you
                    That seems to be a good idea. The only time I've had a cough on a cruise was on Ocean Countess, and I had a slight cough before the trip, which was probably aggravated by the aircon. It took ages to get better.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We were once told that boiling the kettle (if provided in the cabin) immediately before retiring to bed can be a good solution.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have just returned from a cruise where there was a lot of coughing esp in the theatre.

                        I have only cruised 6 times but I have never come close to having a cough.

                        I do wonder how many cruisers had the symptoms before they embarked??

                        Annie

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The only cruises when we have seen many people coughing have been from Southampton, and we have not been among the coughers. I suspect that may be because we are used to air conditioning, since it is widely used in Canada during the summer. Most offices, shops and public areas are cooled, and like many others we have central air conditioning in our home. Maybe the effect of the drier air has more effect on those who are used to a moister atmosphere in their home surroundings. Typically we have humid conditions in the summer and enjoy the dehumidifing effect of air conditioning, while in the cold winter months the air is very dry and we use a humidifier along with the heating in our home.

                          Sheila

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'm not surprised that with the UK's weather many people go onboard incubating coughs and colds. We used to suffer with the dreaded cough. I have heard that a damp towel in your cabin can help?
                            However... since we started having balcony cabins we have never suffered. I know it's not possible to have a balcony for many people and hope someone can help with this what can be a long standing ailment
                            sigpic*Carol M*

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thank you for all the responses - some very interesting information. Unfortunately I'm not much wiser as to how long we should now wait before chancing another cruise. Seems like we must then also go armed with various tablets plus kettles and maybe fill the ice bucket with water...

                              The first ship that we were on and where the whole thing really started is only two or three years old and we suspect that one major factor was probably the dead rat located within the air conditioning outlet in our cabin. The second ship is some thirty years old. I would have hoped that filters are checked and changed as necessary as part of general maintenance of the screens preventing the passage of smoke or flame within the a/c system.
                              We were not alone in our respiratory problems on the first cruise though this seems a reasonably frequent occurence anyway.

                              We try to avoid flights, one of the reasons being that we know from experience that the air recirculation system will soon ensure that all on board get to share anyone's coughs and colds etc.

                              Comment


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