Cruise ship quarantined in St Lucia for measles heads to Curacao

Authorities in the eastern Caribbean island have quarantined the ship after discovering a confirmed case of measles aboard. (AP

NBC News reported that almost 300 passengers and crew were aboard the vessel, with one female crew member diagnosed with measles.

The Freewinds ship is reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology.

On Thursday, the ship's doctor requested 100 doses of the measles vaccine, according to a statement from the St. Lucia Department of Health and Wellness, "and this is now being provided from our supplies, at no cost". She said the ship's doctor has called for more than 100 vials of measles vaccine.

"We are aware of the situation in St Lucia and we have been monitoring it. Rest assured that the Ministry of Health will take any measure to protect the public against the introduction of any threatening disease in Antigua and Barbuda", she said.

One case of measles had been confirmed on the ship docked in port near the capital of Castries since Tuesday, Dr Merlene Frederick-James, St. Lucia's chief medical officer, said in a video statement.

On its website, the Church of Scientology describes the Freewinds as a floating "religious retreat ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counselling in the Scientology religion". Health officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Labour rejects call to back public vote on Brexit deal
Chuka Umunna, spokesman for pro-Remain party Change UK, accused his former party of "prevarication" over a referendum. One Labour source said, "there wasn't complete movement but there was movement".

Depending on when other passengers were exposed, it may not be too late for them to receive a measles vaccine.

The vast majority of United States cases have occurred in children who have not received vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), officials said.

"Quarantine is a word that people respond to very strongly, but it's actually one of the strongest tools in the public health tool kit", Katz said.

Rebecca Katz, who leads the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, told CNN the quarantine remains a smart idea.

Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus that replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult.

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