Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Key Facts

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
  • The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
  • The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Although the World Health Organisation is not currently recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to Zika virus some port authorities are requiring additional information for vessels and crew arriving from locations where a known outbreak of Zika is occurring. The Club will continue to monitor the situation and collate all the latest information on the topic and any implications this may have for shipowners on this resource page.

Advice to Members

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The MEC is no longer required for vessels calling from Zika affected countries/areas.
On the 18th of November 2016, the WHO announced that the Zika virus no longer represents a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’.
Brazil is currently experiencing various outbreaks of mosquito-borne infectious diseases of significant concern to the health of those onboard vessels.Members can refer to the recent guidelines from Proinde which provide information and guidance covering both the common mosquito-borne diseases in Brazil and the sanitary inspections conducted on board to reduce health risks.
KVH Videotel have launched free Zika Virus training materials for seafarers. The workbook and accompanying short video provide useful tips on how best to avoid contracting Zika Virus and is specifically aimed at mariners.
The European Centre for Disease Control advises that 41 countries currently have widespread transmission of Zika virus. These countries are American Samoa, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombi
On 2 March 2016, the Chinese Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau together with the Ministry of Transport and other six relevant authorities jointly issued "Notice on Prevention and Control of ZIKA Virus". This...
In response to the growing spread of the Zika virus, South Korea has developed preventative measures and issued updated Zika virus Prevention and Quarantine Guidelines. The Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare declared Zika virus...

External Resources:

The World Health Organisation; Factsheet on the Zika Virus; http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/

The World Health Organisation; Q&A document on Zika Virus;

Public Health England; Zika Virus Guidance;

Centers for Disease Control and Provention; Zika Travel Advice;

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA); January newsletter page 3; http://www.cruising.org/docs/default-source/ta-newsletters/12616-clia_tacruisenews-jan-2016-139pm.pdf

Latest WHO situation report : http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/situation-report/14-april-2016/en/

Hong Kong : http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/msnote/pdf/msin1621.pdf

Liberia : http://www.liscr.com/liscr/Portals/0/MarineAdvisory_04-16_ZikaVirus.pdf

Marshall Islands : http://www.register-iri.com/forms/upload/MSAdvisory_3-16_Revised.pdf

Advice to Crew:

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has issued an information factsheet in a bid to help seafarers around the world to protect themselves from the Zika virus. ITF Fact sheet

Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.

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