The Church of Scientology owned ship, Freewinds, has been quarantined in the Caribbean following a confirmed case of measles.
A female crew member was diagnosed with measles, resulting in all 300 passengers and crew being banned from leaving the ship while it is docked at the Caribbean Island’s capital, St Lucia.
Freewinds which usually hosts the church’s religious retreats arrived at St Lucia on Tuesday.
“Given the highly infectious nature of Measles, along with the possibility that other persons onboard the vessel may have been in contact with and are now possibly infectious due to this disease, a decision was made not to allow persons to disembark. This decision to quarantine the ship is in keeping with the health laws of St. Lucia,” the St. Lucia health department said.
The local health department has provided 100 doses of the measles vaccine free of charge.
“The confirmed case as well as other crew members are presently stable but remain under surveillance by the ship’s doctor,” said Merlene Frederick-James the island’s chief medical officer, noting that the incubation period of measles is 10 to 12 days before symptoms appear.
The restriction comes as the number of measles cases in the United States has reached a 25-year peak with more than 700 people diagnosed as of this week, part of an international resurgence in the disease.
Thousands of passengers were vaccinated when there was another measles outbreak on MSC Seaview when it was dock in Santos, Sao Paulo in February this year.
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