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

The Freewinds cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology

A 440-foot ship owned and operated by the Church of Scientology, SMV Freewinds, is docked under quarantine from a measles outbreak in a port near Castries, St. Lucia, May 2, 2019.

Fredericks-James said the infected person is a female crew member, who remains in stable condition.

"What we don't want is for the disease to spread further", Gerstenbluth said.

The St. Lucia Department of Health and Wellness said in a statement that the ship's doctor is monitoring passengers and crew members on the ship, CNN reports.

There are about 300 crew members and passengers on board, Albert Elens, managing director of Maduro Shipping, the Freewinds' agent in Curacao, told ABC News earlier this week.

A tracking map on MarineTraffic.com shows the vessel left the port city of Castries on St. Lucia last night and is due to arrive at Willemstad, Curacao, on Saturday morning. They said they provided 100 doses of measles vaccine at no cost.

"One infected individual can easily infect other people", she said in a general announcement.

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The Freewinds ship is reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology.

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

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. "But because it curtails civil liberties, most public health officials are very wary to utilize it".

The disease is extremely contagious.

On Tuesday, Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James, the chief medical officer in St. Lucia, announced that a cruise ship that had docked on the island was being quarantined, as health officials investigated a possible case of measles on board.

Every state has laws in place that allow quarantines and other public health enforcement tools, and they differ based on the jurisdiction.

Authorities in the eastern Caribbean island have quarantined the ship after discovering a confirmed case of measles aboard. Symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and a rash of red spots.

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