Infectious Diseases
Best Practices & Guidance > Infectious Diseases


Seafarers are not immune to infectious diseases at home, abroad, on board ship or on shore leave.  These diseases can be costly in injury and death claims to our Members. We recommend that Members review this information and contact the Managers for any further guidance and information.



Ebola Virus Disease

The 2014 outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa has had a devastating impact upon the region. Ebola is highly contagious, particularly severe and is often fatal.

The impact upon shipping is being felt by shipowners trading into the region affected by the outbreak. Members are encouraged to take proper precautions to prevent the infection and spread of the Ebola virus disease if they are trading in West Africa.

This purpose of this site is to provide relevant updates and guidance to Members who may be affected by these developments. Your Managers are periodically updating this site as relevant information emerges.

General Information

The Ebola websites of both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are excellent sources of up-to-date information on the locations of outbreaks, travel advisories, prevention, treatment and other useful information.

Charter Party & Other Contractual Considerations

Your Managers have prepared two documents for Members when considering charter parties and relevant contracts if trading to Ebola afflicted nations: The Ebola Virus: Charter Party and Other Contractual Considerations and Ebola Virus Disease: Shipping Contractual Guidance from the Baltic and International Marine Council (BIMCO).

In addition, BIMCO has recently issued the BIMCO Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clause for Voyage and Time Charter Parties referenced as per Club Circular No. 17/15. Because each case will depend on its facts, it is recommended that Members consult with the Managers not only to coordinate their efforts, obtain advice and take appropriate measures to best protect their interests, but also to stay abreast of all new and significant developments in regard to Ebola specifically, and other infectious and contagious diseases in general.

Ebola Updates

  • September 30, 2015(France) As per 28 September 2015, the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (Marseille-Fos Port Authority) advised that the anti-Ebola measures previously applicable to vessels which had been in an Ebola-affected country in the 21 days prior to their arrival have now been lifted. A copy of this circular (French) can be found by clicking here. The source of this information is the Club's correspondent, Budd, S.A. of Marseille-Fos, France.
  • April 1, 2015(Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia) 

    Status of the epidemic in Guinea.
    After one year, 3,400 cases among which 2,200 fatalities, the government had declared a "state of national sanitary emergency" in August 2014. And while the measures implemented seemed to have been successful enough to officially clear the southern regions of the virus, the outspread has now moved to the coastal prefectures of the country. Furthermore, a certain number of reported cases of "denial" amongst the medical population, including in Conakry, has led to a certain number of negligence cases of infection spread (i.e. ill people diagnosed positive after their death while they had consulted at an earlier stage but whose doctors refused to acknowledge the possibility of Ebola at the time).

    As a result, since Saturday, March 28, 2015, this "state" has been raised to "reinforced sanitary emergency" by the President Conde of Guinea for a duration of 45 days in five (5) of those coastal prefectures: Forécariah, Coyah, Dubréka, Boffa et Kindia and Conakry Prefecture. Those new measures include various restrictions of movements to be applied in specific areas of western Guinea, specific containment and quarantine for hospitals and clinics where Ebola cases will have been identified. Specific restrictions have also been implemented for funerals of confirmed fatalities.

    So far, according to the latest updates obtained by from Senegal P&I, none of the above measures affect the port or the airport, where the safety measures applied until now (i.e. wearing of protection masks and sanitizer when boarding vessels, etc.) remain unchanged to date.

    Status of the epidemic in Sierra Leone.
    With more than 11,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemics, Sierra Leone was the country which got hit the hardest. While the contamination rate seemed to have slowed down over the past three months, a new rise in February 2015 has pushed the government to order a second series of "national lockdown" with door-to-door medical checkups, which started last Friday and was due to last over the weekend (lifted Sunday night).

    Although it is not clear locally whether such is Ebola-related or just a problem of water draft, we have been advised that the night curfew in Port has been reinstated, preventing any arrival or departure of vessels between 18:00 and 05:00.

    Apart from that, situation remains unchanged in terms of in-port sanitary measures to be taken prior to boarding vessels. No change either in terms of international airline service restrictions for the Freetown Airport.

    Status of the epidemic in Liberia.
    Liberia had been declared officially free from Ebola a month ago and on February 22, 2015 the night curfew was lifted and the government had ordered the reopening of the inland borders. However an isolated case was diagnosed on March 20, 2015 and the patient passed away on March 28, 2015. Two more suspected cases are currently under quarantine, and 80 persons having been in the proximity of the deceased will remain under close medical watch.

    Apart from that, situation remains unchanged in terms of in-port sanitary measures to be taken prior to boarding vessels.

    AIR COTE D'IVOIRE (to Ivory Coast) and ARIK AIR (to Ghana) are now back in service at the Monrovia Airport, along with ROYAL AIR MAROC, BRUSSELS AIRLINES and KENYAN AIRWAYS.

    The source of this information is France P&I.

  • November 18, 2014(Equatorial Guinea) The policies related to vessels arriving at Bata and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea has recently been amended to address concerns only arriving from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. A summary of these policies can be found here. The source of this information is the Club's correspondent, Budd, S.A. of Marseille-Fos, France.
  • November 17, 2014(Brazil) The port authority of Paranaguá, Brazil has changed its rules for vessels arriving from Ebola Virus Disease afflicted West African nations. A meeting recently held with Port Authority, it has been announced that all ships proceeding from West Africa (risk areas), must have to wait 21 days prior to enter the port. It will count as from departure date of the West Africa port(s).

    In the meantime, if the ships masters declare any crewmember or passenger with high fever and or any suspicious symptoms, the ship in question will be made to enter the port to disembark them and it will stay idle in a quarantine area. If nothing is declared, the sanitary authority will authorize ships to move in and its crewmembers will be checked prior a Free Pratique is granted.
  • October 29, 2014(Ivory Coast) Following the World Health Organization's recent decision to take Senegal and Nigeria off the official list of Ebola Virus Disease infected countries, vessels arriving from both countries are no longer subject to the mandatory sanitary inspection at anchorage and are authorized to process freely to port under usual conditions. For further information, please click here. The source of this information is France P&I.
  • October 27, 2014(France) Members should note the following new requirements for vessels calling at French ports as noted in this notice. Any ship which will have called less than three weeks before they call in France in the countries where EBOLA is declared as an epidemic (i.e. Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) will be controlled. Crew and passengers on board the said ships will be subject to a compulsory temperature test. The source of this information is the McLeans Group, Marseilles, France.
  • October 23, 2014(Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo Pointe Noire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equitorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) Please click here for the latest update on the policies of various ports of West African nations related to the Ebola Virus Disease. The source of this information is the Club's correspondent, Budd, S.A. of Marseille-Fos, France.
  • October 20, 2014(United States) The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued an Ebola Virus Precautions - Update. Members are encouraged to take note of these precautionary updates for vessels having called on ports in West African countries that have been afflicted by the Ebola Virus Disease.
  • October 14, 2014(United States) The New Orleans Sector of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) have issued new Vessel Reporting Requirements from Countries Posing an Ebola Virus Threat for vessels calling from Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and/or Nigeria.  Members are advised to ensure compliance with these measures.
  • October 9, 2014(United States) The United States Coast Guard has issued Bulletin No.: 001-14, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Threat and the Maritime Transportation System  providing updated guidance for shipowners on preventative measures to be considered to prevent the spread of EVD.
  • October 2, 2014(Benin) The port of Cotonou has issued new measures aimed at preventing the Ebola Virus Disease from entering the country by ship. A summary of these measures can be found here. The source of this information is the Club's correspondent, Budd, S.A. of Marseille-Fos, France.
  • September 26, 2014(Panama Canal) The Panama Canal Authority, in coordination with the Panamanian Ministry of Health, have issued a series of prevention and protection measures against the Ebola Virus Disease for ships transiting the Panama Canal.
  • September 25, 2014(Singapore) Members should take note of the new port health clearance procedures for vessels arriving Singapore
  • September 24, 2014(Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina) The latest updates as far as the national policies for ports in Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina related to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease can be found here with an associated map summarizing these policies. The source of this information is the South American P&I Correspondents (SAPIC).
  • September 22, 2014(Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, South Africa, Gabon and Ivory Coast) A summary of the current port restrictions for these noted African nations as a result of the Ebola Virus Disease is presented here.  The source of this information is the shipping agent, Alfaship.
  • September 22, 2014(Venezuela) The following is a summary of Venezuela's current policies and procedures required for vessels arriving from Ebola Virus Disease afflicted nations:Ebola prevention measures and other current diseases at the country. The source of this information is the Club's correspondent, Globalpandi, S.A. of Caracas, Venezuela.
  • September 22, 2014(Cameroon, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) Members will note the latest updates regarding port and travel restrictions for ports in Cameroon, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo by clicking here.  The source of this information is the Club's correspondent, Budd, S.A. of Marseille-Fos, France.
  • September 16, 2014(Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela and Uruguay) Members will note the latest update as to various South American countries related to the Ebola Virus Disease. The source of this information is the South American P&I Correspondents (SAPIC).
  • September 16, 2014(France) We advise Members to take note of the recent updates to policies by French port authorities regarding the Ebola Virus Disease. The source of this information is the McLeans Group, Marseilles, France.
  • September 16, 2014(Guinea) We advise Members to take note of the recent updates to policies by the port authorities of Port Kamsar, Guinea regarding the Ebola Virus Disease. The source of this information is the McLeans Group, Marseilles, France.
  • September 11, 2014(Bangladesh) The Port Authority, Customs Authority, Immigration Authority and the Quarantine Authority at Chittagong have notified that the masters of the vessels calling at the port will now have to provide details on the health status of all crew members and officers on board prior to the vessel entering the Chittagong Port limit. Information such as the name of the last port of call, the health status of all crew on board crew and completion of a maritime health declaration are now required.

    The master on board will provide the above information to the agents who will in turn notify Port Authority, Customs Authority, Immigration Authority and Chittagong Radio control. Once clearance will be granted to the vessel, it may then enter the Chittagong Port Limit. No vessels will be allowed to enter in Chittagong Port limit without the completed and approved declaration. The Port Authority has already asked all the concern Shipping Agents to follow the guidelines strictly for all vessels at the time of entering into Chittagong Port limit. The source of this information is Baytime Maricorp Ltd., Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • September 4, 2014(Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo) There are new restrictions on vessels calling on ports in Gabon.  Any vessels calling on ports from the Ebola Virus Disease afflicted countries will not be allowed to enter or berth at ports in the country. The notice also notes the incidence of the outbreak now affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo. The source of this information is Eltvedt & O'Sullivan.
  • September 4, 2014(Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Togo, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon) Please find the latest updates on the current status of the Ebola Virus Disease and restrictions on port calls and travel restrictions for Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and Morocco from our correspondent, Ivory P&I at ivorypandi.com. In addition, we would like to bring to Members attention a map summarizing the policies of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Togo, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon for vessels calling on these countries.
  • August 27, 2014(Sierre Leone, Senegal, Liberia and Kenya) There are now new updates to travel restrictions and port calls for Sierre Leone, Senegal, Liberia and Kenya. Members should take particular note of the update from Senegal whereby vessels calling from Guinea Conakry, Sierre Leone and Liberia are, for the time being, forbidden entry into port. The source of this information is Eltvedt & O'Sullivan, Marseille, France.
  • August 25, 2014. (South Africa) Notice on travel to and from South Africa and landing of stowaways This notice specifies the new requirements for travel to and from South Africa and states the requirement that no stowaways are to be landed without a valid travel document. It also specifies that South Africans traveling from the nations afflicted by the Ebola Virus Disease must complete a Traveller's Health Questionnaire before entering the country. The source of this information is P&I Associates (Pty) Ltd., Durban, South Africa.
  • August 22, 2014. (Philippine seafarers) POEA circular on monitoring and reporting for Ebola afflicted countries. This POEA Circular clearly states that if the alert levels in the Ebola-affected countries reaches "3" (Voluntary Repatriation), employers or agencies should ensure the immediate repatriation of their workers who wish to be repatriated from countries afflicted by the Ebola Virus Disease. The POEA has confirmed that the circular also applies to seafarers.
  • August 20, 2014. (Brazil) Brazilian Health Authorities - ANVISA notice on Ebola Virus Disease.  The Brazilian Health Authorities, ANVISA, have issued a set of general guidelines and procedures for ships calling on the port of Rio de Janeiro. It is expected that similar procedures will soon be adopted for more ports country wide. The source of this information is Brazil P&I.
  • August 20, 2014. (South Africa) Memorandum on procedures regarding the Ebola Virus Disease with reference to crew and stowaways The source of this information is P&I Associates (Pty) Ltd in Durban, South Africa.
  • August 19, 2014. (Ghana) As part of their contingency measures to guard against possible arrival to Tema that may have escaped attention of Port Health, they are advising that all shipping lines deposit their pre-arrival documents with Port Health, particularly those vessels arriving from Ebola effected regions of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria at least 3 days before such vessels arrive. The documents should include:
    1. the maritime declaration of health;
    2. the port's call list;
    3. the crew list; and
    4. the ETA of the vessel.

This will enable Port Health to prepare adequately to meet any eventuality.

  • August 19, 2014. (Nigeria)  All ship's crew members employed on vessels trading in Nigeria are to be screened for a fever. If a fever has been detected, the afflicted crew member will be quarantined. The quarantine may also apply to the rest of the ship's crew until they can rule out the infection and/or source. At this stage, the duration of any quarantine has not being specified. The source of this information is TCI {Africa} Nigeria Ltd.
  • August 14, 2014. (Gabon) Prior notice of arrival and additional precautions for calling on ports in Gabon.
  • August 12, 2014. (Argentina) Ban lifted on calling on ports of the Ivory Coast (Spanish). The Centro de Navegacion, the local pilots association through the River Plate Area Committee, has decided that their pilots will not board any vessel coming from the infected areas (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) until such time as they have completed 30 (thirty) days from the departure of the last port of the infected areas. For further information, Members should consult their local agents.
  • August 12, 2014. (Ivory Coast) Ban lifted on calling on ports of the Ivory Coast (French). The ban on ships calling to the Ivory Coast from countries afflicted by the Ebola Virus disease has been lifted.
  • August 11, 2014. (Philippine seafarers) Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has issued guidelines for seafarers on the Ebola virus disease. In summary, the POEA has imposed a temporary suspension on the processing and deployment of newly-hired overseas Filipino workers to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In addition, the guidelines provide details of precautions owners are to take to protect the crew.
  • August 11, 2014. (General information) Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa. The Alert brings attention to the United States Coast Guard update issued on August 11, 2014 regarding Ebola virus precautions to be taken on board ship.
  • August 7, 2014. (General information) ITF, IMEC and ICS urgent communication on the risk of the Ebola virus. The communication highlights the seriousness of the Ebola virus disease outbreak and provides general recommendations on the prevention and spread of the virus on board ship.
  • August 1, 2014. (General information) Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa. The Alert is a summary of recommendations, precautions and updates on the status of certain individual ports in West Africa.

 



Malaria

Malaria is endemic to large areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the South Pacific.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were about 207 million malaria cases in 2012 and an estimated 627,000 malaria deaths.

Seafarers are not immune from malaria while working aboard ship or while on shore leave in malaria inflicted regions. Members are encouraged to take all proper precautions to prevent contracting the disease and remain diligent in ensuring that anti-malarial medications are available on board and encourage the master to check that all crew members are taking the medications as prescribed.

The Association has set forth guidance in our Alert, Concerns and Precautions Regarding Malaria.

Staying informed about the disease is also an important form of prevention. Your Managers recommend that shipowners consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website for malaria for further information at http://www.who.int/malaria//en/. Furthermore, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintain a malaria guidance database by country that can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/country_table/a.html.



Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). MERS affects the respiratory system (lungs and breathing tubes). Most MERS patients developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Health officials first reported the disease in Saudi Arabia in September 2012 although it was originally expected to have originated from Jordan. MERS is potentially terminal, as between 3 to 4 persons out of every 10 reportedly contracting MERS has died.

General Information

The MERS websites of both the World Health Organization (WHO) at http://www.who.int/ith/updates/20130605/en/ and the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html are excellent sources of up-to-date information on the locations of outbreaks, travel advisories, prevention, treatment and other useful information.

Updates

July 1, 2015(South Korea and China) There has been a recent outbreak of MERS in South Korea. This is the largest outbreak of the virus outside of the Middle East and has accounted for 181 confirmed cases of contracting the disease with 31 fatalities up to June 27, 2015. Most of the fatalities and other people affected by the virus have come into contact with the virus in a health care facility. The Association’s correspondents in South Korea and the Manager’s representative office in Shanghai have informed us that there are no currently port, shipping, or air travel restrictions for either country at this time. Please refer to Club Circular 30/15 for further information.

Charter Parties

Members are reminded that the BIMCO Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses for Voyage and Time Charter Parties has been developed for use in response to any severe outbreak of a virulent disease. The generic solution offered by BIMCO avoids having to write specific clauses to address individual outbreaks each time they occur. Nevertheless, should Members have questions or concerns, it is strongly recommended to consult with the Managers not only to coordinate their efforts, obtain advice and take appropriate measures to best protect their interests.



Zika Virus

The Zika virus is transmitted in tropical regions to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This virus has been linked to cases of babies born with neurodevelopmental disorders resulting in reduced head circumference and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rapid onset of muscle weakness as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system.

Cases of the Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Asia Pacific island countries and territories. It has been observed that the virus outbreaks has been continuing to spread globally.

General Information

The Zika virus websites of both the World Health Organization (WHO) at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/ and American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html are excellent sources of up-to-date information on the locations of outbreaks, travel advisories, prevention, treatment and other useful information.

Updates

Charter Parties

Members are reminded that the BIMCO Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses for Voyage and Time Charter Parties has been developed for use in response to any severe outbreak of a virulent disease. The generic solution offered by BIMCO avoids having to write specific clauses to address individual outbreaks each time they occur. Nevertheless, should Members have questions or concerns, it is strongly recommended to consult with the Managers not only to coordinate their efforts, obtain advice and take appropriate measures to best protect their interests.