Health Care

Church of Scientology measles quarantine: Cruise ship heading to Curacao today

Church of Scientology measles quarantine: Cruise ship heading to Curacao today”

A cruise ship remains quarantined off the eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia after discovering a case of measles on board, CBS News reports.

One case of measles had been confirmed on the ship docked in port near the capital of Castries since Tuesday, Dr. Merlene Frederick-James, St. Lucia's chief medical officer, said in a video statement.

The Freewinds, with approximately 300 crew members and passengers, was quarantined in the Port of Castries and on Thursday the ship's doctor requested 100 doses of the measles vaccine.

The infected patient was isolated and in stable condition, health officials said.

On its website, the Church of Scientology describes the Freewinds as a floating "religious retreat ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counselling in the Scientology religion".

A crew member fell ill with measles, prompting fears of an outbreak on a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology - and it's the latest reminder that infectious diseases can spread among hundreds of people.

The church, founded by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard in 1953, did not respond to requests for comment.

Tim Moody, the former chairperson for the Emerging Public Health Threats and Emergency Response Coalition, told CNN that people who have never been exposed to measles and then get exposed have 72 hours to receive a vaccine before catching it. If they have already caught the disease, the vaccine should reduce the severity. For anyone who refuses to cooperate, actions can range from issuing a self-isolation order to "checking in once a day via the internet, to putting a tracking device on somebody, to placing an armed guard outside of their home", Katz said. Symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and a rash of red spots.

In its most recent update, the CDC has confirmed more than 700 individual cases of measles in the far this year.

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