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

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

"Whilst in our ports, we will continue to monitor and will not allow disembarkation, given the contagious nature of the disease", she said.

It was unclear what the crew member was doing in Europe.

In this case, he says, those on the ship would do well to have some "diversionary activity" to take their minds off of the stress, such as exercising in an area that is measles-free. The island won't charge the ship for the vaccines.

There were about 300 people aboard the ship, according to Saint Lucia authorities, which said they provided 100 doses of measles vaccine at no cost. Health officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NBC News, citing a St. Lucia Coast Guard sergeant, reported the ship is named Freewinds, which is the name of a 440-foot vessel owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.

A spokeswoman for St Lucia's health ministry confirmed that the ship had left the island.

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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".

The vast majority of USA cases have occurred in children who have not received vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), officials said.

"One infected person can easily infect others", she said in a public statement.

Using quarantines to assist in controlling an outbreak, while uncomfortable, is an important public health option, Rebecca Katz, who directs the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, told CNN. "But because it curtails civil liberties, most public health officials are very wary to utilize it".

The quarantine of almost 300 passengers aboard the ship has taken place among a nationwide outbreak of measles, as almost 700 cases have been reported across the United States.

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