NEHA March 2024 Journal of Environmental Health

Explore Key Resources From the Vessel Sanitation Program


Help Limit the Spread of Acute Gastroenteritis Infographic

VSP helps ensure a healthy environment for passengers and crew. Environmental health practitioners can visit our key resources to learn more about VSP (see sidebar). Corresponding Author: CAPT Luis Rodriguez, Environmental Health Specialist, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA 30341. Email: References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). Vessel Sanitation Program. https:// Jenkins, K.A., Vaughan, G.H., Jr., Rodriguez, L.O., & Freeland A. (2021). Acute gastro- enteritis on cruise ships—Maritime Illness Database and Reporting System, United States, 2006–2019. Morbidity and Mortal- ity Weekly Report, Surveillance Summaries , 70 (6), 1–19. wr.ss7006a1 • Noroviruses on cruise ships: www. norovirus.htm • Illness prevention: nceh/vsp/healthy.htm • Inspection reports and scores: InspectionSearch.aspx • Outbreak updates: nceh/vsp/surv/gilist.htm • More about the Vessel Sanitation Program: desc/aboutvsp.htm

Help Limit the Spread of Acute Gastroenteritis Report your illness if you’re sick.

Ÿ Call the ship’s medical facility as soon as possible and follow the medical sta’s recommendations. Wash your hands often, especially after using the toilet and before eating or drinking. Take care of yourself. Ÿ Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. ú Resting helps rebuild your immune system. ú Drinking water helps prevent dehydration. Leave the area if you see someone get sick (vomiting or diarrhea). Ÿ Report it to cruise sta if they are not already aware.


and the federal government to define and reduce health risks associated with vessels and to ensure a healthful and clean environ- ment for vessel passengers and crew. VSP accomplishes this mission by: • Inspecting currently operating cruise ships. • Reviewing plans and equipment, and inspecting newly constructed or renovated cruise ships.

• Monitoring acute gastroenteritis illnesses on voyages traveling to U.S. ports. • Training cruise ship employees on public health practices. • Providing health education and reliable public health information to the cruise ship industry, the traveling public, public health professionals, state and local health authorities, and the media.

If looking for a new job or in need of additional sta , turn to our Job Board. Our members get their first job posting for free and we o er reasonable posting rates for nonmembers. If interested in joining our team, we list all the open positions within our organization. You can also find job postings from our partners across the country. Learn more at

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March 2024 • Journal of Environmental Health

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