A cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology has been quarantined by St.Lucia after confirming a case of measles outbreak on board. Nearly 300 passengers and crew are on board. As a result, Health authorities in St. Lucia made the decision to quarantine the vessel, called the Freewinds, after a female crew member was confirmed to have measles. On Thursday, the ship’s doctor requested 100 doses of the measles vaccine, according to a statement from the St. Lucia Department of Health and Wellness. The Church of Scientology operates the ship and calls Curaçao its home port. However, it’s not clear what will happen when the Freewinds, arrives there.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said,”The United States is seeing a resurgence of measles, a disease that had once been effectively eliminated from our country,”. This official statement acknowledged the rise significance of the number of measles cases over the past year.
The Anti-Vaxxer Correlation
Measles cases in the United States have surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000. The disease is extremely contagious. An unvaccinated person can catch it simply by being in the same room an infected person was in, for up to two hours after the infected person left. Symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and a rash of red spots.
Recently, most cases in the US have emerged in communities with low rates of vaccination against the virus, according to public health officials. Outbreaks of measles occur when measles gets into these communities of unvaccinated people. So, “The only way to protect against measles is to get vaccinated.” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.