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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    Cruise Ship Quarantined over Measles Concerns


    A cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology reportedly has a female crew member with measles. When the ship arrived at the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, no one was allowed to disembark the vessel over the concern of everyone on board being infected with the virus.

    The ship departed St. Lucia in the early hours on Thursday, May 2. St. Lucian authorities did not have the ability to keep the ship in port but could prevent passengers from disembarking.

    Before the ship left port on Thursday, the ship’s doctor had requested 100 measles vaccines, according to the St. Lucia Department of Health and Wellness. The department stated that “… this is currently being provided from our supplies, at no cost. Continued surveillance is necessary as the incubation period for measles ranges from 10 to 12 days before symptoms in exposed persons occur.”

    Dr. Merlene Fredricks-James, St. Lucia’s chief medical officer made a statement saying, “Because of the risk of potential infection, not just from the confirmed measles case but from other persons who may be on the boat at the time, we thought it prudent to make a decision not to allow anyone to disembark.”

    Scientologists do not have a particular stance on vaccinations. According to John Carmichael, the Church of Scientology president in New York, “Scientologists are pretty independent people, though I will say this: They tend to do a little more research, perhaps, on the effect of various medical procedures or whatever.” Carmichael continued, “They make their own decisions, but those aren’t decisions that the church tries to influence in any way.”

    There is good news for those on the vessel though. According to the former chairperson of Emerging Public Health Threats and Emergency Response Coalition, Tim Moody, someone who has not been vaccinated for measles has 72 hours to receive that vaccine. If the vaccine can’t prevent the virus, it may reduce how severe it is.

    When Lakewood High School student, Kasey Lambert, heard about the quarantined ship, she said, “I think that it is a rather unfortunate situation for those onboard the ship. However, for the overall health of the public, a quarantine is understandable.”





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