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Home  >  Articles  >  Disease Prevention Measures by the Vessel Sanitation Program

Disease Prevention Measures by the Vessel Sanitation Program

The Vessel Sanitation Program is a preventative measure taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is designed to help the cruise ship industry minimize gastrointestinal outbreaks among passengers. The program was initiated in 2007 as a part of the Public Health Service Act. Cruise ships that carry more than 13 passengers and operate internationally with stops in U.S ports must comply with the program. The VSP inspects and monitors ships for signs associated with gastrointestinal disease outbreaks.

GI Disease on Cruise Ships

GI disease outbreaks on cruise ships are uncommon but increasing. The VSP aids in surveying the extent of these outbreaks by conducting CDC-led investigations that operate under two components: routine reporting and special reporting. Routine reporting is mandatory and occurs whenever a vessel is within 24-36 hours of docking at a U.S port from a foreign port. Additionally, special reporting is required when the number of GI cases exceeds or is equal to 2% of the passenger or crew population.

In conjunction with routinely recording the number of GI cases on board, the VSP controls disease outbreak through:

  •  Unannounced semi-annual inspections of cruise ship facilities
  •  Proper training of crew on public health practices
  •  Educating the public, media, and traveling population on up-to-date health issues in the cruise ship industry

Ships that fail to meet proper safety standards must take measures to correct their violations and, in some cases, can result in the ship being barred from takeoff.

Contact a Cruise Ship Injury Attorney Today

Falling ill aboard a vessel because of poor preventative measures taken by the cruise line can result in physical, emotional, and monetary suffering. If you or someone you know was a victim of negligent sanitation practices on a cruise ship, you may be able to hold the liner accountable. Contact Miami-based cruise ship injury attorney Louis A. Vucci, P.A., at (786) 375-0344 to learn more about your legal options.