A measles case was confirmed aboard Freewinds cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology in Curacao, which has left 28 people quarantined.
On Saturday, public health officials in Curacao, an island in the Dutch Caribbean, announced that 17 crew members and 11 passengers should stay aboard until Monday. That’s because they are still at the risk of catching measles after a female crew member was diagnosed with measles earlier this month.
The epidemiologist with the Public Health of Curacao Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth said, “The rest of the 318 people who were, in total, on the ship, are free to leave, as they are not a threat to anyone anymore, and they cannot become sick anymore.”
The Church of Scientology said in a statement, “Curacao authorities acknowledged the Freewinds, a 440-foot ship based in the Caribbean, for its strict isolation protocol, which effectively contained the illness to a single case and prevented it from spreading to others.”
The church stated on its website that the ship is home of “a religious retreat ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counseling.” Previously, the ship of horrors was quarantined in St. Lucia and then arrived in Curacao a week ago.
At that time, health officials took more than 270 blood sample from those passengers who did not have proof of getting vaccinated; they were then sent to the Netherlands.
The female crew member who contracted the infection had been in Europe and arrived in the island of Dutch Caribbean on April 17 with flu-like symptoms. She was examined and tested for measles; however, by the time the results came, she had already left for St. Lucia.
According to the CDC, more than 700 people in 22 states have been diagnosed with measles this year. Public health officials said the rise in measles is driven by vaccine misinformation.
The signs and symptoms of measles include a runny nose, fever, and a red rash. Most people recover from the infection; however, in some people, it can lead to pneumonia, brain swelling, and even death.