Marine Safety Information Bulletin: Ebola virus precautions

The Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Response published Marine Safety Information Bulletin 009-19, “Ebola Virus Precautions,” to alert industry to recent reports of Ebola virus in Tanzania.

Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. On September 10, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization were made aware of unofficial reports regarding the unexplained death of a person two days earlier from probable Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania. More information about the virus is available at Information about the situation in Tanzania is available here.

Vessel owners/operators should be alert to the possibility that persons whose travel originated in Tanzania could potentially have been exposed to EVD. Some key points to remember concerning Ebola:

  • Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. In addition, skin rash, red eyes, and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.
  • Travelers could be infected if they come into contact with blood or body fluids from someone who is sick or has died from Ebola, sick wildlife, or meat from an infected animal. Health care providers caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with an ill person are at the highest risk because they may come into contact with blood or body fluids.
  • Monitor your health for 21 days if you were in an area with an Ebola outbreak, especially if you were in contact with blood or body fluids, items that have come in contact with blood or body fluids, animals or raw meat, or hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated.

Vessel owners/operators and local stakeholders should be aware of the following:

  • Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew or passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC under 42 CFR 71.21. Regional CDC quarantine station points of contact can be found on CDC’s website.
  • The Coast Guard will review all Notices of Arrival to determine if a vessel has visited a country impacted by Ebola virus outbreak within its last five ports of call.
  • Vessel masters should inform any Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crewmembers onboard.
  • Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with section 5310 “Procedures for Vessel Quarantine and Isolation,” and Section 5320 “Procedures for security segregation of Vessels” in their Area Maritime Security Plan.
  • Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.

Questions regarding this should be forwarded to the Coast Guard Office of Emergency Management & Disaster Response, Incident Management and Disaster Response Division (CG-OEM-2) at 202-372-2073 or by email at

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.