A cruise ship used by the Church of Scientology has been quarantined in the Caribbean since Monday after a crew member aboard the vessels was confirmed infected with measles.
1 Measles Case Confirmed
The 300 passengers and crew members aboard the ship were ordered to remain inside of the ship in the Caribbean port of St. Lucia.
Dr. Marlene Fredericks-James, St. Lucia's chief medical officer, said the infected female patient has now been isolated and is in stable condition. However, there are possibilities that other people on board the vessel have been exposed to the contagious disease.
"Anyone who is not adequately immunized against measles can contract the disease, if there has been close contact with a confirmed case," Fredericks-James said. "It is therefore likely that other persons on the boat may have been exposed."
Health officials declined to name the ship but St. Lucia Coast Guard Sgt. Victor Theodore confirmed the name of the vessel as "Freewinds," the name of the 440-foot cruise ship that the Church of Scientology owns and operates.
Theodore also identified the craft as the same listed on the church's website, which the Church of Scientology uses for religious programs such as religious conventions and seminars for staff and parishioners, and specially arranged gatherings of members.
"The Freewinds provides a safe, aesthetic, distraction-free environment appropriate for ministration of this profoundly spiritual level of auditing," the church described the craft.
Worst Measles Outbreak In Recent Years
The incident happened as countries worldwide including the United States face the worst measles outbreak in recent years.
The alarming increase in measles cases is being blamed on false information about vaccine safety. Late last month, US President Donald Trump urged Americans to get vaccinated as the number of measles cases in the country hit the highest level since 2000.
Most of those who contract measles survive from the disease, but there are cases when complications occur. Infection may lead to bronchitis, sensorineural hearing loss, and panencephalitis, which can be deadly.