The Caribbean nation of St. Lucia has imposed a quarantine on a visiting cruise ship, barring any passengers or crew from leaving the boat whereas in port, after a case of measles was identified on board, the island’s chief medical officer stated.
Dr. Merlene Frederick-James stated in a video assertion posted to YouTube on Tuesday that the St. Lucia Ministry of Well being ordered the restriction after conferring with the Pan American Well being Group and others in regards to the danger of publicity to islanders.
The ministry realized of the confirmed measles case from “two respected sources,” and in mild of present measles outbreaks in the US and the extremely infectious nature of the illness “we thought it prudent that we quarantine the ship,” Frederick-James stated.
She gave no details about the ship or its origins.
NBC Information, citing a St. Lucia Coast Guard sergeant, reported the boat in query is known as Freewinds, which is the title of a 440-foot vessel owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.
WATCH: U.S. measles outbreak hits alarming milestone
The worldwide vessel-monitoring web site MarineTraffic.com additionally confirmed Panamanian-flagged passenger ship recognized as SMV Freewinds docked in port close to the St. Lucia capital of Castries. The web site indicated the ship was headed subsequent to the island of Dominica.
The Church of Scientology web site describes the Freewinds as a floating “non secular retreat ministering essentially the most superior stage of non secular counseling within the Scientology faith.” It says it’s dwelling port is Curacao.
Church officers didn’t instantly reply to efforts by Reuters looking for touch upon the scenario.
NBC Information reported that almost 300 passengers and crew have been aboard the vessel, with one feminine crew member identified with measles.
The cruise ship quarantine comes because the variety of measles instances in the US has reached a 25-year peak with greater than 700 individuals identified as of this week, a part of a global resurgence within the illness.
Public well being officers blame declining vaccination charges in some communities pushed by misinformation about inoculation that has left these populations weak to speedy unfold of an infection amongst these with no immunity to the virus.
WATCH: Two California universities quarantined amid measles outbreak
Well being authorities in Los Angeles final month ordered quarantines on two college campuses after each had reported not less than one confirmed case.
The overwhelming majority of U.S. instances have occurred in youngsters who haven’t obtained the three-way vaccines in opposition to measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), which confers immunity to the illness, officers stated.
WATCH: How vaccine hesitancy turned a risk to public well being
Measles is unfold by means of informal contact with the virus, which may stay infectious within the air of an enclosed area for as much as two hours after it’s breathed out by somebody carrying the illness.
The speed of transmission from an contaminated individual to a different individual close by who lacks immunity is about 90 per cent, and an contaminated individual may be contagious for 4 days earlier than exhibiting indicators of the illness.