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Author(s): K. H. Pham and M. Luengo-Oroz


In addition to moving people and goods, ships can spread disease. Ship traffic may complement air traffic as a source of import risk, and cruise ships – with large passenger volumes and multiple stops – are potential hotspots, in particular for diseases with long incubation periods. Vessel trajectory data from ship Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) is available online and it is possible to extract and analyze this data. We illustrate this in the case of the current coronavirus epidemic, in which hundreds of infected individuals have traveled in ships captured in the AIS dataset. This real time and historical data should be included in epidemiological models of disease to inform the corresponding operational response.