Health

Officials of St. Lucia Quarantined a Cruise Ship Citing Measles Case

St. Lucia’s health officials have quarantined a cruise ship after confirming a female crew member has measles. Now Freewinds, a cruise ship reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology, is docked on the Caribbean island, St. Lucia Coast. Dr Merlene Fredericks-James, St. Lucia Chief Medical Officer, said the ship has less than 300 passengers and crew members. She also said no one was allowed to get off from the ship. Though the decision to quarantine arrived citing the ongoing measles epidemic in the US.

In the end, the government decided to quarantine the ship after having internal discussions and talks with the Pan American Health Organization. The disease may pass from the measles-contracted crew member to other people aboard the cruise. Dr Merlene said the infected female patient has been isolated and is in a stable state. Officials said they had quarantined the ship since Monday morning. Measles is a highly infectious disease. Besides, the virus can survive in the air for up to two hours. Mostly, it infects unimmunized people who are vulnerable to it. Dr Merlene said the virus could enter into the air through coughing and sneezing of the infected person.

Before docking to the port of St. Lucia, the ship had ported to the Dutch Caribbean. That facility informed officials of St. Lucia that a lab test has confirmed measles in a female crew member. Public health officials accuse declining vaccination rates in some communities. As per officials, misguidance regarding immunisation has left those groups exposed to rapidly spreading the virus. It is not the first case of quarantine. Last month, Health officials in Los Angeles had ordered quarantines on two university campuses. At the time, both facilities reported at least one confirmed case of measles. Officials said, most of the US cases have emerged in unimmunized children. Thus it is essential to get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), which empowers the body to fight against the disease.

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Jason Amato

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