Your Defense Against Disease Outbreaks

Norovirus outbreaks. Legionnaires’ disease. Foodborne pathogens like Salmonella and Campylobacter. Allergens. Water contaminated with E. coli. COVID-19. These are just some of the health hazards owners and operators in the maritime industry navigate each and every day.

Despite your best attempts to prevent them, illness outbreaks can happen at any time. Semi-enclosed environments, like those found on a ship, facilitate the rapid spread of infectious diseases, which may result in potentially large numbers of individuals becoming sick. Disease outbreaks limit revenue generation and may also cause lasting damage to a company’s brand and reputation. When they occur, it’s important that measures are implemented swiftly to prevent more people from becoming ill.

That’s where we come in. Maritime Health Services provides disease outbreak investigation and management solutions designed to stop the problem at source — quickly and conclusively — so our clients can get back to focusing on what matters the most.

Why Investigate Outbreaks?

Disease outbreaks can occur at any time, and they are almost always unexpected. The most compelling argument for investigating an outbreak is that by identifying and eliminating the source and its modes of transmission, you can control the spread and prevent additional cases.

However, outbreak investigations have fundamental benefits that go beyond identifying the cause, eliminating the source, and controlling the spread of illness. Even if an outbreak is over by the time the investigation begins, conducting one is still important.

For instance, through the evaluation of existing company processes — such as Outbreak Prevention and Response Plans or Legionella control measures — the lessons learned will be useful in developing recommendations or strategies for preventing a recurrence, helping to mitigate risk more effectively and improving your company’s response to incidents when they do arise.

How Maritime Health Services Can Assist

Our team has extensive experience in carrying out systematic outbreak investigations and is ready to embark at short notice, providing worldwide assistance with the implementation and execution of response measures to contain outbreaks as quickly as possible. Using MHS for your outbreak support needs increases the likelihood of a more meticulous analysis into root cause to prevent future recurrences.

Our complementary risk mitigation solutions help protect your fleet and reputation against all types of pathogens and include:

Development of Outbreak Prevention and Response Plans

To make sure your company has a plan in place to pre-empt and counter illness outbreaks regardless of the source.

Legionella Assessments

When travel-associated cases of Legionnaires’ disease are linked to a vessel, or when analysis of water samples test positive for the presence of Legionella, initial environmental measures that should be immediately undertaken include a preliminary review of the vessel’s water systems. Our team can support not only with the investigation, but the onsite implementation of emergency actions and development of proposals for long-term control strategies to reduce the risk of colonization.

Evolution of company SOPs to help prevent disease transmission

For instance, enhancing cleaning protocols to minimize cross-contamination, or improving surveillance methodologies to reduce the risk of pathogens spreading and causing widescale outbreaks.

Outbreak Prevention and Response Training

A lack of training and staff competence have been identified as contributory factors in disease outbreaks. Our training programs are designed so your crew carry out their duties and responsibilities in a competent manner, ensuring routine preventative measures are properly implemented and outbreaks, when they do happen, are swiftly controlled.

Environmental sampling via our global network of approved laboratory partners

Knowing what pathogens are causing outbreaks can be used to control them and prevent additional cases. MHS partner laboratories are accredited to internationally recognized standards such as ISO/IEC 17025.

Rapid Response, Reliable Support – Your Ally For Outbreaks

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Maritime Health Services provides swift and comprehensive outbreak support worldwide. Our methodical approach ensures a thorough investigation into the root cause, preventing future recurrences and safeguarding your business continuity.