Sick boat syndrome

Open access


Many pathogenic micro-organisms are likely to attack passengers of cruise ships and other vessels or travel between continents as a peculiar type of a “stowaway”. The epidemiological tests conducted since 1987 with regard to watercraft led to the coining of a term known as the Sick Boat Syndrome (SBS). The main illnesses encountered on watercraft include gastrointestinal diseases (foodborne) and Legionellosis. Additionally, the ventilation and airconditioning systems of old commercial ships (the so-called Tramps) constitute a real technical challenge. Conditioned air (with removed undesired odour and micro-organisms) should constitute ca. 25% of circulating air. In practice this situation is not typical for vessels of this class. Unclean air poses a real hazard for the crew.

1. Beware ‘sick-building syndrome’. The deadliest pollutants of all may be the ones you breathe at home or at work. Carey J., Hager M., King P., Newsweek 1985 Jan 7. 105:58-60.

2. The Diagnosis of Sick House Syndrome: the Contribution of Diagnostic Criteria and Determination of Chemicals in an Indoor Environment. Miyajima E., Tsunoda M., Sugiura Y., Hoshi K., Kido T., Sakamoto Y., Sakabe K., Aizawa, Y., Tokai J., Exp. Clin. Med. 2015 Jul. 40:69-75.

3. Sick building syndrome (SBS) and sick house syndrome (SHS) in relation to psychosocial stress at work in the Swedish workforce., Runeson-Broberg R., Norbäck D., Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 2013 Nov. 86:915-22.

4. Alan. Agresti: Categorical Data Analysis. Wiley-Interscience, New York, 2002. ISBN 0-471-36093-7.

5. Outbreak of respiratory illness on board a ship cruising to ports in southern Europe and northern Africa., Christenson B., Lidin-Janson G., Kallings I., J. Infect 1987 May. 14:247-54.

6. Epidemiology of gastroenteritis on Cruise Ships, 2001-2004., Cramer E.H., Blanton C.J., Blanton, L.N., Vaughan G.H., Bopp C.A., Forney D.L., Am. J. Prev. Med., 2006;30(3):252-257.

7. Epidemic infectious gastrointestinal illness aboard U.S. navy ships deployed to the Middle East during peacetime operations-2000-2001., Riddle M.S., Smoak B.L., Thornton S.S., Bresee J.S., Faix D.J., Putnam S.D., BMC Gastroenterology, 2006, 6:9 doi:10.1m186/1471-230X/6/9.

8. WHO-Fact Sheet N0 269:Ship sanitation and health, 2002/19/02.

9. Outbreak of Acute gastroenteritis Associated with Nowalk-Like Viruses Among British Military Personnel. Brown D., Gray J., MacDonald P., Green A., Morgan D., Christopher G., Glass R., MMWR Weekly,2002,51,22,477-479.

10. WHO report on Infectious Diseases,1999, Geneva, chapter 13.

11. Gastoneterities, rafters-USA(Grand Canyon)., 2002.11.02.

12. Legionellosis, cruise ship-UK (Scotland).,; 1998.06.29.

13. Collective report on the incidence of Legionellosis in 17 member states of the EU, Lewer F., Joseph C.A., Eurosurveillance,2001,6,4,53-60.

14. Legionellosis-Norway,; 2001.08.31.

15. Legionellosis uptade,, 2002,08.16.

16. Cruise-Ship-Associated legionnaires Disease, November 2003-May 2004., MMWR, November 18, 2005/54(45);1153-1155.

17. World Health Organization, Meeting of the informal Transportation Working group to develop guidance for implementation of IHR(2005) at points of entry, Hosted by the International Civil Avisation Organization(ICAO), Montreal, CanadaGeneva, 1 June, 200.

18. World Health Organization, 2nd Meeting of the informal Transportation Working Group to develop guidance for implementation of IHR (2005) at points of entry. British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver, Canada, 29 Nov. - 1 Dec. 2006 Geneva, 3 January 2007.

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 196 137 11
PDF Downloads 97 68 7