Cruise

Crew on board Scientology cruise ship given all-clear after measles scare

After being quarantined for the second time at port, most of the crew on board a Church of Scientology ship have been given the all-clear by local authorities to leave the vessel.

Since arriving at its homeport of Curaçao in early May from St Lucia, the Church of Scientology vessel Freewinds has been quarantined by the local government, due to a member of its crew contracting measles at its last port visit.

However, since being quarantined from 4 May, CNN has reported that 91 per cent of the people on board the vessel have been given the all-clear to leave the vessel as of Saturday.

The ship had returned to its home port at the Curaçao harbour, where a team of medical professionals from the Curaçao health department interviewed those on board, taking blood samples from some.

Curaçao-based epidemiologist Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth, who led the team, told CNN on Saturday that 91 per cent of those aboard had been “found to be protected against measles”.

“That means that they are not running a risk of contracting the disease and are no threat to transmit the disease to others. In other words, there is no reason to keep them on board. They are free to move,” Gerstenbluth told CNN.

However, some of those aboard remain in isolation, with three crew members and one passenger being retested at a local laboratory, Gerstenbluth said.

The quarantine was likely to be lifted yesterday, however, no further reports have confirmed it.

According to the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 700 people have been diagnosed with measles in the United States, this year – a 25-year peak for the country.

Featured image: Willemstad, Curacao, October 24 2016: Cruise ship Freewinds in the Curacao Drydock

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