An outbreak of the avian flu virus could seriously disrupt the shipping industry, and there is little insurance protection available to help it through a pandemic, according to a report released from Aon Limited.

In its report, “Aon’s Marine Insurance Market Review,” the Chicago-based insurance broker’s London office said: “The spread of disease has historically been more prevalent by sea than by air. An outbreak in a port could interrupt the supply chain with vessels in quarantine and crew trapped in an incubation cauldron. Ship, cargo and port managers must be aware of the precautions and plan for business continuity.”

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