MARAD ADVISORY 2014-02 – EBOLA VIRUS PRECAUTIONS

   
Advisory #: 2014-02
Date Issued: Sep 02, 2014
Audience: All Operators of U.S.-Flag, Effective U.S. Control Vessels, U.S. Merchant Mariners and Other Maritim
Subject: Ebola Virus

THIS IS THE FULL TEXT VERSION OF MARAD ADVISORY 2014-02. THE NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY HAS TRANSMITTED A SHORTENED VERSION.

1. U.S.-FLAG OPERATORS ARE REQUESTED TO FORWARD THIS ADVISORY TO THEIR SHIPS BY THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS MEANS.

2. EBOLA, ALSO KNOWN AS EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE (EVD) AND EBOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER, IS A RARE AND DEADLY DISEASE CAUSED BY A VIRAL INFECTION. FIRST DISCOVERED IN 1976 NEAR THE EBOLA RIVER IN WHAT IS NOW THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, THE VIRUS AFFECTS HUMANS AND SOME ANIMALS. SINCE THEN, OUTBREAKS HAVE APPEARED SPORADICALLY IN SEVERAL AFRICAN COUNTRIES. AS OF AUGUST 28, 2014, EBOLA HAS INFECTED 3,069 AND KILLED MORE THAN 1,552 PEOPLE IN FOUR COUNTRIES (GUINEA, LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE AND NIGERIA) SINCE THE CURRENT OUTBREAK WAS FIRST DETECTED IN MARCH OF THIS YEAR.

3. SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA INCLUDE FEVER AND ADDITIONAL SYMPTOMS SUCH AS SEVERE HEADACHE, MUSCLE PAIN, VOMITING, DIARRHEA, STOMACH PAIN, OR UNEXPLAINED BLEEDING OR BRUISING. SYMPTOMS MAY APPEAR ANYWHERE FROM 2 TO 21 DAYS AFTER EXPOSURE TO EBOLA VIRUS, ALTHOUGH 8-10 DAYS IS THE MOST COMMON.

4. EBOLA IS SPREAD THROUGH DIRECT CONTACT WITH BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS (URINE, SALIVA, FECES, VOMIT AND SEMEN) FROM A PERSON WHO IS INFECTED AND CURRENTLY HAS SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA. EBOLA MAY ALSO BE TRANSMITTED THROUGH CONTACT WITH OBJECTS (E.G., NEEDLES) CONTAMINATED WITH BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS FROM A SYMPTOMATIC PERSON OR THROUGH CONTACT WITH, OR CONSUMPTION OF AN ANIMAL INFECTED WITH EBOLA. THE VIRUS ENTERS THE HUMAN BODY THROUGH MUCOUS MEMBRANES (E.G., EYES, NOSE OR MOUTH) OR THROUGH BREAKS IN THE SKIN. PEOPLE ARE INFECTIOUS AS LONG AS THEIR BLOOD AND SECRETIONS CONTAIN THE VIRUS. EBOLA IS NOT AIRBORNE AND IT CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED FROM A PERSON WHO IS NOT SYMPTOMATIC.

5. THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONTRACTING EBOLA IS VERY LOW UNLESS THERE HAS BEEN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS FROM A SYMPTOMATIC PERSON OR AN ANIMAL INFECTED WITH EBOLA, OR WITH A CONTAMINATED OBJECT. SIMPLY TRAVELING TO AN AREA WHERE EBOLA IS PRESENT DOES NOT MEAN A PERSON WILL BE EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS. GIVEN THE UNPRECEDENTED NUMBERS OF CASES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS OUTBREAK, THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC) ISSUED A LEVEL 3 WARNING TO AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO SIERRA LEONE, GUINEA AND LIBERIA, AND A LEVEL 2 ALERT TO PRACTICE ENHANCED PRECAUTIONS IF TRAVELING TO NIGERIA OR THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO. PRECAUTIONS INCLUDE PRACTICING CAREFUL HYGIENE, AVOIDING CONTACT WITH BLOOD AND BODY FLUIDS OF PERSONS SICK WITH EBOLA OR WITH ITEMS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SUCH FLUIDS, AVOIDING CONTACT WITH WILD ANIMALS AND AVOIDING RAW OR UNDERCOOKED MEAT. OTHER PRECAUTIONS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE CDC WEBSITE.

6. THE CDC MAINTAINS UP-TO-DATE WEB RESOURCES WHICH PROVIDE INFORMATION ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE OUTBREAK, PREVENTATIVE STEPS THAT CAN BE TAKEN TO REMAIN HEALTHY BEFORE AND DURING TRAVEL, AS WELL AS ACTIONS THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN IF A TRAVELER BECOMES ILL AT ANY POINT. THESE WEB RESOURCES, ALONG WITH CDC TRAVEL NOTICES, CAN BE FOUND AT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices and http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/. FURTHERMORE, U.S. MERCHANT MARINERS WITH ACCESS TO UNCLASSIFIED HTTPS://WWW.INTELINK.GOV CAN ALSO ACCESS FORCE HEALTH PROTECTION ADVISORIES FROM THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR MEDICAL INTELLIGENCE (NCMI) FOR MORE SPECIFIC COUNTRY RELATED INFORMATION AT HTTPS://WWW.INTELINK.GOV/NCMI/.”

7. THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) RECOMMENDS THAT TRAVELERS TO AFFECTED AREAS AVOID ALL CONTACT WITH BLOOD, SECRETIONS, ORGANS OR OTHER BODY FLUIDS OF INFECTED LIVING OR DEAD PERSONS OR ANIMALS, AND ADVISES THAT PERSONS WHO HAVE HAD SUCH CONTACT, OR WHO HAVE AN ILLNESS CONSISTENT WITH EBOLA, SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL EXCEPT AS PART OF AN APPROPRIATE MEDICAL EVACUATION. WHO DOES NOT OTHERWISE RECOMMEND ANY BAN ON INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL OR TRADE.

8. THE US COAST GUARD HAS ISSUED A MARITIME SAFETY INFORMATION BULLETIN ON EBOLA VIRUS PRECAUTIONS, WHICH INCLUDES A REMINDER TO VESSEL MASTERS TO REPORT SICK OR DECEASED CREW MEMBERS OR PASSENGERS TO THE CDC IN ACCORDANCE WITH 42 CFR 71.21. ADDITIONALY THE COAST GUARD REMINDS OWNERS, OPERATORS, AGENTS, MASTERS OR PERSONS IN CHARGE OF THE REQUIREMENT TO IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY THE NEAREST COAST GUARD SECTOR OFFICE OR GROUP OFFICE OF THE EXISTENCE OF HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS ON THEIR VESSELS AS REQUIRED BY 33 CFR 160.215. THE COAST GUARD CONSIDERS CREWMEMBERS INFECTED WITH EBOLA OR DECEASED FROM ILLNESS RELATED TO EBOLA A HAZARDOUS CONDITION AS DEFINED BY 33 CFR 160.204 DEFINITION OF “HAZARDOUS CONDITION”. THE COAST GUARD WILL CHECK ALL ADVANCE NOTICES OF ARRIVAL TO DETERMINE WHETHER A VESSEL HAS VISITED A COUNTRY IMPACTED BY THE EBOLA VIRUS OUTBREAK WITHIN THE PREVIOUS FIVE PORT CALLS. THE BULLETIN IS AVAILABLE AT HTTPS://WWW.USCG.MIL/MSIB/DOCS/012_14_8-7-2014.PDF.

9. MARAD ADVISORIES ARE PUBLISHED ON THE MARAD WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.MARAD.DOT.GOV/NEWS_ROOM_LANDING_PAGE/MARITIME_ADVISORIES AND THE MARITIME SAFETY INFORMATION WEB SITE: HTTP://MSI.NGA.MIL/NGAPORTAL/MSI.PORTAL. UNDER “BROADCAST WARNINGS”, SELECT MARAD ADVISORIES TO DETERMINE MARITIME ADVISORIES THAT REMAIN IN FORCE. CONSULT THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.MARAD.DOT.GOV OR THE MOST RECENT U.S. NOTICE TO MARINERS.

10.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT CAPTAIN ROBERT FORD, MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF SECURITY, CODE: MAR-420, ROOM W25-308, 1200 NEW JERSEY AVE, S.E., WASHINGTON, DC 20590, TELEPHONE 202-366-0223, TLX II 710.822.9426 (MARAD DOT WSH) OR EMAIL: MARADSECURITY@DOT.GOV.