Notice by the Merchant Shipping Directorate to Shipowners, Ship Operators, Managers, Masters, Owners’ Representatives and Recognised Organisations
The Directorate wishes to advise to ships navigating in Ebola infected areas to take note of useful information issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). The information may be accessed on www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en.
The Ebola virus is considered as rare and easily transferred through contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person or by contact with contaminated objects. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat followed by vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, and in some cases, bleeding. It is highly recommended to avoid all contact with blood and body fluids of infected people or animals, and not to handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids. It is also recommended that persons who have visited areas where Ebola cases have been reported to seek medical attention in case such person experiences any of the aforementioned symptoms.
To this effect, the Masters and crew of ships operating or that might operate to ports where EBOLA cases have been reported, should be aware of the risks and how to reduce the risk of infection. It is important to ensure at all times that unauthorised personnel do not board the vessel throughout the duration of the vessel’s port call and shore leave should be kept to the minimum when in impacted ports. In the event of a suspected diagnosis of Ebola virus disease on a ship, immediate expert medical advice should be sought and the case shall be immediately reported to the competent authority at the next port of call.
It is strongly recommended that all necessary precautions advised by WHO are implemented in case any passengers or seafarers experience symptoms compatible with the Ebola virus disease. Furthermore, the ship owners and operators should avoid making crew changes in impacted ports.
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