Global maritime organizations have issued health guidance on the risks posed to ships’ crews calling in countries affected by the Ebola virus.

Leading international ship supplier, Hutton’s Group, is responding to requests for information and assistance from its maritime customers by highlighting the range of medical protective equipment available for use in pandemic situations.

Urgent guidance from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation ITF) advises that on vessels in high risk areas:

  • the Master should ensure crew are aware of Ebola risks, how the virus can be spread and how to reduce these risks; 
  • ISPS requirements on ensuring unauthorized personnel do not board vessels should be strictly enforced throughout the duration of port visit; 
  • Masters should give careful consideration to granting any shore leave while in impacted ports; 
  • shipowners and operators should avoid making crew changes in ports of an affected country; and 
  • after departure crew should be aware of Ebola symptoms and report any occurring symptoms immediately to the person in charge of medical care
John MacDonald, General Manager of Hutton’s Medical, said: “Sensible precautions can be put into place immediately to minimize risks to vessels transiting affected areas and we are able to provide a wide range of protective equipment as well as advise ship operators on what measures to take to prioritize the health of their crew.”

Infection Containment Personal Protective Equipment kits, sometimes referred to as Pandemic Kits, are available for emergency use during pandemic outbreaks such as Ebola, SARS and Avian Influenza ('bird flu').

Hutton’s Personal Protection Kit contains:

1 × CE Category 3,Types 4, 5 & 6 disposable coverall with integrated hood
1 × FFP3 face mask
1 × set of goggles
1 × lightweight nitrile disinfectable examination gloves
1 × pair overshoes
1 × clinical waste disposal bag
1 × pack of Trigene wipes Detailed illustrated instructions

In addition Hutton’s offers a full range of personal protective products, including:

  • hand sanitizers
  • body fluid clean-up kits
  • hard surface disinfectants