Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Federal Regulations for Reporting Death and Illness on Ships Destined for the United States

Federal Regulations

U.S. regulations (42 CFR 71.21(a)) require the master of a ship destined for a U.S. port of entry to immediately report any death or illness among the ship’s passengers or crew. This includes persons who have disembarked or have been removed from the ship due to illness or death.

Reports must immediately  be made to the CDC Quarantine Station at or nearest the U.S. port of arrival. For ships arriving in the United States, this includes all deaths or illnesses that occurred within 15 days prior to arrival. For ships that have left the United States and will be returning to a U.S. port during the same voyage, this includes all deaths or illnesses that occurred within 15 days of departure.

Required Reporting

According to Federal regulations, ill persons displaying any of the following signs and symptoms must be reported to CDC:

  1. fever (a measured temperature of 100° F [37.8° C] or greater) lasting more than 48 hours;
  2. fever of any duration, plus any one of the following symptoms:
    • rash,
    • swelling of the lymph glands, or
    • jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), or
  3. diarrhea (three or more loose stools or a greater than normal number of loose stools in a 24-hour period).

Note:  Cruise ships carrying 13 or more passengers should continue to report diarrhea cases to the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).

Requested Reporting

In addition to the required reporting, CDC requests that ships report ill persons with the following signs and symptoms. These symptoms may also indicate a serious, communicable disease:

  • fever of any duration, plus any one of the following symptoms:
    • difficulty breathing or suspected/confirmed pneumonia, or
    • persistent cough or cough with bloody sputum, or
    • headache with neck stiffness, or
    • reduced level of consciousness, or
    • unexplained bleeding, or
    • persistent vomiting

Note:  Cruise ships carrying 13 or more passengers should continue to report gastrointestinal cases to CDC VSP.

Contacting a CDC Quarantine Station

For More Information

Top