Health Care

Passengers to remain quarantined on cruise ship until being cleared by officials

Passengers to remain quarantined on cruise ship until being cleared by officials”

A 440-foot ship owned and operated by the Church of Scientology, SMV Freewinds, is docked under quarantine from a measles outbreak in port near Castries, St. Lucia on May 2, 2019. The ship is scheduled to arrive early Saturday in Curacao, where it is normally docked when not in use.

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.

Curacao epidemiologist Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth said the female crew member arrived April 17 in Curacao from Europe and visited a doctor April 22 for cold symptoms.

Health inspectors on the Caribbean island of Curacao boarded a Scientology cruise ship early Saturday to investigate a reported case of measles, a source familiar with the situation told ABC News.

"We are aware of the situation in St Lucia and we have been monitoring it. Rest assured that the Ministry of Health will take any measure to protect the public against the introduction of any threatening disease in Antigua and Barbuda", she said.

The church, on its website, describes Freewinds as a floating "religious retreat ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counselling in the Scientology religion". But professor Stephen Kent, an expert on scientology, says there is a church philosophy that high-ranking scientologists can fend off illness.

Measles has sickened more than 700 people in 22 U.S. states this year, with federal officials saying the resurgence is driven by misinformation about vaccines. They said proof is required, and that people who do not comply will be vaccinated immediately. NY has been one epicenter of the outbreak, where there have been 493 cases this year.

"Continued surveillance is necessary as the incubation period for measles ranges from 10 to 12 days before symptoms in exposed persons occur", the statement said, according to CNN.

Three-quarters of those who caught the disease are children or teenagers. "They are very serious about security".

'[It] can cause encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain.



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