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Guidance for Cargo Ships: How to Report Onboard Death or Illness to CDC

According to federal regulations, CDC requires the master of a ship destined for a U.S. port to report immediately any death or certain illnesses among the ship’s passengers or crew. Effective March 10, 2014, DGMQ changed its routing method for reporting illnesses and deaths on ships. To report an illness or death, use the Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form [PDF - 4 pages] .

The only exception is reporting of Legionnaires’ disease. To report a case of Legionnaires’ disease, please e-mail travellegionella@cdc.gov. For more information about Legionnaires’ disease, visit CDC Respiratory Diseases Branch (RDB).

Instructions for Reporting Deaths and Illnesses

Please DON’T submit any forms through e-mail that include personally identifiable information (PII). PII is any information that can be used alone or in combination to identify an individual. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, dates (birth, hospital admission, travel), identifying numbers (passport, social security, driver’s license, alien), medical records, photographs, and for rare diseases, geographic locations.

  • Please download the Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form [PDF - 4 pages] and save it for future access. Use a separate form for each ill or deceased person.
  • Complete Sections 1-4.  You may type directly into the form, or print it out and fill out by hand.
  • To submit the form to the CDC Quarantine Station with jurisdiction over the next U.S. seaport of arrival, you have three options:
    1. Click on the gray “Send Via E-mail” button in the upper left-hand corner of the form. (Note: In order to use this option, your e-mail account must be set up to automatically generate an e-mail message from a PDF), or save the form, then attach it to your e-mail and send it to MaritimeAdmin@cdc.gov, or
    2. Look up the contact information for the CDC Quarantine Station with jurisdiction over the next U.S. seaport of arrival and send by fax, or
    3. By telephone.
      If you choose option #1, your e-mailed report will automatically be sent to the CDC Quarantine Station, and you should receive an immediate confirmation e-mail. If you choose option #2 or #3 (fax or phone), a confirmation e-mail will be sent within 1 business day. The quarantine station will contact you if follow-up information is needed.
  • If you don’t receive confirmation of your report or if you have any questions, please contact the CDC Quarantine Station with jurisdiction over the next U.S. port of arrival, the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100, or the Maritime Activity Administrator (MaritimeAdmin@cdc.gov).
  • Please DON’T submit Section 5  (General Information about Ill or Deceased Person) unless the quarantine station asks you to do so. Note: Because this section contains PII, you won’t be able to type any information directly into the fillable PDF form. You will need to print out this section of the form and fill it out by hand. Then submit Section 5  only by fax or by telephone.

Illness Type and Signs and Symptoms to Report by Federal Regulations

Required: Death/Disease/Symptoms to report

Complete Sections 1–4 of the Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form [PDF - 4 pages]
  • Death
  • Quarantinable Diseases (both suspected or confirmed) listed in the President’s Executive Order [PDF - 1 page] : cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and novel influenza viruses.
  • Signs and symptoms of public health interest included in the Federal Regulations:
    • Fever* >48 hours
    • Fever + rash
    • Fever + swelling of the lymph glands
    • Fever + jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
    • Diarrhea (three or more loose stools or a greater than normal number of loose stools in a 24-hour period)

* Medical staff should consider someone to have a fever if the ill person feels warm to the touch, gives a history of feeling feverish, or has an actual measured temperature of 100° F (37.8° C) or greater.

Requested: Disease/Symptoms to report

Complete Sections 1-4 of the Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form [PDF - 4 pages]
  •  Signs and symptoms of public health interestfor which DGMQ requests reporting::
    • Fever* + difficulty breathing or suspected/confirmed pneumonia
    • Fever + persistent cough or cough with bloody sputum
    • Fever + headache with neck stiffness
    • Fever + reduced level of consciousness
    • Fever + unexplained bleeding
    • Fever + persistent vomiting

* Medical staff should consider someone to have a fever if the ill person feels warm to the touch, gives a history of feeling feverish, or has an actual measured temperature of 100° F (37.8° C) or greater.

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