St Lucia quarantines US cruise ship over measles case

Cruise ship seen on Castries Port, Saint Lucia on 6 February 2019Picture copyright
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St Lucia is a well-liked vacation spot for cruise ships

A US cruise ship has been positioned in quarantine by the Caribbean island of St Lucia after a case of measles was reported on board, the island’s chief medical officer mentioned.

Dr Merlene Fredericks James mentioned there was a confirmed case of measles on board and “thought it prudent that we quarantine the ship”.

No-one aboard was allowed to depart.

The ship is reportedly the Freewinds, which is claimed to be owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.

Dr Frederick-James mentioned in a video assertion posted on YouTube on Tuesday that the ministry discovered of the confirmed measles case from “two respected sources”.

She cited the truth that measles was a extremely infectious illness as an element within the resolution.

“One contaminated particular person can simply infect others by means of coughing, sneezing, droplets being on numerous surfaces, and so forth. So due to the chance of potential an infection – not simply from the confirmed measles case, however from different individuals who could also be on the boat on the time – we thought it prudent to decide to not permit anybody to disembark.”

She additionally cited the present state of affairs within the US, the place instances of the illness are at a 25-year excessive, as one other issue.

NBC Information, citing a St Lucia Coast Guard, reported that the boat is the Freewinds, a 440ft (134m) vessel owned and operated by the Church of Scientology, thought to have some 300 passengers on board.

“The ship’s physician has the confirmed case in isolation on the ship,” Dr Fredericks-James was quoted as saying by NBC. “The person is in secure situation.”

The St Lucian authorities wouldn’t have the authority to maintain the ship from leaving, and it’s presently because of depart the island at 23:59 (03:59 GMT) on Thursday, NBC reviews officers as saying.

The ship-tracking web site reveals a ship known as SMV Freewinds docked in Castries, the nation’s capital.

The Church of Scientology has thus far not publicly commented on the case.

US outbreak

Earlier this week, US well being officers reported that greater than 700 individuals had been contaminated by measles this 12 months, marking a 25-year excessive for instances of the infectious illness within the nation.

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Media captionBBC well being correspondent Smitha Mundasad explains the US measles outbreak

Circumstances had been recorded in 22 states and had been largely affecting unvaccinated kids, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned on Monday.

Officers mentioned the rise in instances is the biggest since 1994, together with 78 reported previously week.

Some mother and father are mentioned to have chosen to depart their kids unvaccinated as a result of unscientific declare that vaccines trigger diseases corresponding to autism, or on spiritual grounds.

Most instances occurred in 13 outbreak zones, together with in New York Metropolis’s orthodox Jewish communities.

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