28 under quarantine on Scientology ship in measles scare

A case of measles aboard a Scientology cruise ship in the Caribbean has resulted in 28 people being quarantined until Monday.


NSFW    CURACAO — A case of measles has left 28 people quarantined aboard a Scientology-owned ship in the Caribbean island of Curacao.

According to the Associated Press, health officials announced Saturday that 17 crew members and 11 passengers had to stay onboard until May 13, since they were still at risk of contracting the disease.

Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth, an epidemiologist with the Public Health of Curacao, said the rest of the 318 people can't become sick anymore and are no longer a threat, so are free to leave.

The 440-foot Freewinds cruise ship was previously quarantined in St. Lucia after a female crew member was diagnosed with measles.

The woman had been in Europe, and arrived in Curacao on April 17 exhibiting cold symptoms.

She got tested for measles, but was already on the ship en route to St. Lucia by the time the results came back positive.

After the Freewinds returned to its home port of Curacao a week ago, authorities took 277 blood samples from those without proof of vaccination, and sent them to the Netherlands.

In a statement, the Church of Scientology said Curacao authorities acknowledged the ship for its strict isolation protocol, which prevented the disease from spreading, effectively containing it to a single case.

Measles symptoms include runny nose, fever, and a red-spotted rash. While people recover, it can lead to brain swelling, pneumonia, and in some cases, death.

Though preventable with vaccines, the U.S. has seen a resurgence of measles cases, which federal officials say is due to misinformation about vaccines. This year alone, over 700 people in 22 states have gotten the disease.
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