Quarantined Cruise Ship Set To Leave Saint Lucia

Henrietta Brewer
May 2, 2019

The ship has been quarantined in the Caribbean Port of Saint Lucia since April 29, after a case of the measles was confirmed on board.

Dr. Merlene Fredericks James, the country's chief medical officer, said medical officials believe other people on board the vessel could have been infected with the disease.

Fredericks-James said health officials were using authority given to them by the nation's quarantine act and public health act.

She gave no information about the ship or its origins.

While Fredericks-James did not name the vessel during a televised statement Tuesday, NBC News quoted Coast Guard Sergeant Victor Theodore as saying that that the vessel involved is named "Freewinds", which is the name of a 440-foot cruise ship owned and operated by the Church of Scientology. The ship, in turn, is the home of the Flag Ship Service Organization, a religious retreat ministering advanced levels of spiritual counseling in the Scientology religion.

Officials said the increase in cases is the largest since 1994, including 78 reported in the past week.

The church's media centre was not immediately available for comment.

She said the ship's doctor quarantined the ill crew member, who was in stable condition.

Measles has sickened more than 700 people in 22 USA states this year, with federal officials saying the resurgence is driven by misinformation about vaccines. Federal officials say the resurgence is driven by misinformation about vaccines. Common symptoms include fever, rash, runny nose and red eyes, though the disease can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years old.

"The Ministry of Health continues to work with all authorities".

Measles is spread through casual contact with the virus, which can remain infectious in the air of an enclosed space for up to two hours after it is breathed out by someone carrying the disease.

The rate of transmission from an infected person to another person nearby who lacks immunity is about 90 per cent, and an infected person can be contagious for four days before showing signs of the disease.

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