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Frequently Asked Questions about Reporting Maritime Deaths and Illnesses

Why has the method changed for reporting deaths and illnesses to CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ)?

DGMQ changed its reporting method on March 10, 2014, so all vessel types (including cargo ships, shipping agents, and the U.S. Coast Guard) could report using a new method. The former system, the Maritime Illness and Death Reporting System (MIDRS), was available only to cruise ships. The new method also reduces the burden on cruise ships for duplicate reporting.

Will I need to learn a new form or new data fields for the new method of reporting?

Cruise ships, cargo ships, and shipping agents are already familiar with the Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form [PDF - 4 pages] , because it is the same form that is used to report additional information for deaths and illnesses on ships.

Why can't I report deaths and non-gastrointestinal (non-GI) illnesses through MIDRS?

CDC’s DGMQ no longer uses the MIDRS Website or MIDRS e-mail template. Reporting deaths and non-GI illnesses by cruise ships through the MIDRS website and MIDRS e-mail will be available for a 3-month transition period after March 10, 2014. After June 10, 2014, DGMQ will no longer accept reports via MIDRS. Death and non-GI illness reports will be accepted only via the new fillable PDF form through e-mail or by fax or phone. However, CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) still uses MIDRS to collect GI reports from cruise ships.

Please report deaths and non-GI illnesses to DGMQ by completing the

Why can't I use e-mail to send personally identifiable information (PII)?

To protect privacy, personally identifiable information (PII) must not be submitted by e-mail. 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. Note: not every report requires PII. You should complete Section 5  (general information about ill or deceased person) of the Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form [PDF - 4 pages] , which contains PII, only if asked to do so by quarantine station staff.

Section 5  may be completed by

  • Printing the form and filling it out by hand. You won’t be able to type directly into this section of the fillable PDF.
  • Submitting by secure fax or telephone to the CDC Quarantine Station with jurisdiction over the next U.S. seaport of arrival.

Visit the cruise ship or cargo ship guidance for more information.

Do I need a username and password for this new reporting method?

No, you don’t need a username or password for this new reporting method.

If I already phoned in or faxed a report, do I also need to submit it via e-mail?

No. CDC Quarantine Station staff will enter reports received by phone or fax into the database maintained at CDC.

Can I save the vessel information in the form?

Yes, you can fill in the vessel information at the top and save the form for future use. This process may save you time, so you don’t have to keep typing the same information whenever you submit a report.

Why is my e-mail address required?

E-mail is the preferred method of communication. Through e-mail, the Maritime Activity Administrator can also provide additional guidance if necessary.

Who should I contact if my e-mail attempt failed?

For help with this form or for other questions about reporting, please e-mail