open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2012-06-05
Submitted: 2013-02-18
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Infection control measures on ships and in ports during the early stage of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009

Clara Schlaich, Bettina Gau, Nicole J. Cohen, Kazunobu Kojima, Nina Marano, Daniel Menucci
International Maritime Health 2012;63(1):17-23.

open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2012-06-05
Submitted: 2013-02-18

Abstract

Shipping companies were surveyed to evaluate the effect of public health measures during the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic of 2009 on ship and port operations. Of 31 companies that operated 960 cruise, cargo, and other ships, 32% experienced health-screening measures by port health authorities. Approximately a quarter of ports (26%) performed screening at embarkation and 77% of shipping companies changed procedures during the early stage of the pandemic. Four companies reported outbreaks of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 on ships, which were ultimately stopped through infection control practices. Public health measures did not interfere substantially with port and ship operations with the exception of some port authorities that delayed embarking and disembarking procedures in a few ships. However, in the shipping companies’ experience, measures were inconsistent between port health authorities. Access to antiviral drugs and pandemic vaccine was not provided in all ports. Current guidelines on medical care, hygiene, and emergency procedures on ships need to address pandemic influenza preparedness in future revisions.

Abstract

Shipping companies were surveyed to evaluate the effect of public health measures during the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic of 2009 on ship and port operations. Of 31 companies that operated 960 cruise, cargo, and other ships, 32% experienced health-screening measures by port health authorities. Approximately a quarter of ports (26%) performed screening at embarkation and 77% of shipping companies changed procedures during the early stage of the pandemic. Four companies reported outbreaks of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 on ships, which were ultimately stopped through infection control practices. Public health measures did not interfere substantially with port and ship operations with the exception of some port authorities that delayed embarking and disembarking procedures in a few ships. However, in the shipping companies’ experience, measures were inconsistent between port health authorities. Access to antiviral drugs and pandemic vaccine was not provided in all ports. Current guidelines on medical care, hygiene, and emergency procedures on ships need to address pandemic influenza preparedness in future revisions.
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Keywords

influenza A virus; H1N1 subtype; ships; travel; respiratory tract infection; sanitation; public health

About this article
Title

Infection control measures on ships and in ports during the early stage of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)

Pages

17-23

Published online

2012-06-05

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2012;63(1):17-23.

Keywords

influenza A virus
H1N1 subtype
ships
travel
respiratory tract infection
sanitation
public health

Authors

Clara Schlaich
Bettina Gau
Nicole J. Cohen
Kazunobu Kojima
Nina Marano
Daniel Menucci

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