International Maritime Organization Issue Ebola Warning
Following the announcement of an international emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), the IMO (International Maritime Organization) have called for the international shipping industry to take all the necessary precautions to help limit the spread of the Ebola outbreak.
With 1.4 million Ebola deaths predicted by January 2015, ship operators travelling through high-risk areas have been warned by the IMO to carry out 'measures to reduce the risk of exposure'. The IMO highlighted the following information in their recent circular ‘3484’:
"In the event that a seafarer, passenger, or other person has stayed in the areas where EVD cases have recently been reported, he or she should seek medical attention at the first sign of illness (fever, headache, achiness, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, red eyes, and in some cases, bleeding). Early treatment can improve prognosis."
"Any person with an illness consistent with EVD, or any person who has had contact with or is confirmed as having contracted EVD should not be allowed to join a ship or travel internationally unless that travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation. In any event, all persons are advised to avoid such contacts and routinely practice careful hygiene, like thorough hand-washing."
The message also stressed that although these precautions should not disrupt international travel or trade, failure to execute a thorough protection plan for a shipowners crew could result in possible trade restrictions being placed on vessels.
Further information and guidance can be found on via the IMO website here.
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Article by Jack Bartrop