Church of Scientology measles quarantine: Cruise ship heading to Curacao today

Cruise ship cancels visit to Antigua over measles scare onboard

Cruise ship cancels visit to Antigua over measles scare onboard

The cruise ship that was placed under quarantine by St. Lucia due to a confirmed case of measles on board is bound for Curacao.

Freewinds, a United States based cruise ship, owned and operated by the Church of Scientology, was earlier this week quarantined in St. Lucia when it was discovered that a passenger had contracted measles.

No one has been allowed to leave the ship yet, according to Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James, who told CBS News that the ship remains in port.

'We will go on board and do our job, ' he said, adding that authorities have an global obligation to avoid spreading the disease.

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".

The ship arrived at St. Lucia on Tuesday and was set to depart Thursday, according to a schedule posted on the St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority website.

Tim Moody, the former chairperson for the Emerging Public Health Threats and Emergency Response Coalition, told CNN that people who have never been exposed to measles and then get exposed have 72 hours to receive a vaccine before catching it.

'This is what happens when we don't vaccinate, ' he said.

Church officials did not respond to requests for comment. But professor Stephen Kent, an expert on scientology, says there is a church philosophy that high-ranking scientologists can fend off illness. Most people recover, but measles can lead to pneumonia, brain swelling and even death in some cases.

Diagnoses are at their highest levels since 1994, when 963 cases were reported. Everybody must [have] proof they are vaccinated.

Some of them triggered USA outbreaks, mostly among non-vaccinated people. NY has been one epicenter of the outbreak, where there have been 493 cases this year.

Three-quarters of those who caught the disease are children or teenagers.

"One infected person can easily infect others", she said in a public statement.

Symptoms develop between six and 19 days after infection, and include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes, a fever and a rash. "They are very serious about security".

Treatment focuses on staying hydrated, resting and taking painkillers, if necessary.

'[It] can cause encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain.

Measles can be prevented by receiving two vaccinations, the first at 13 months old and the second at three years and four months to five years old.