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Cruise ship becomes a temporary prison for measles
The controversial Scientology organization's cruise ship "Freewinds" with more than 300 people on board is currently in quarantine after the measles on the ship broke out. The ship is currently being held on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Passengers have not been allowed to leave the ship for a week.
On April 22, 2019, a crew member reported to the ship's doctor with cold symptoms. A blood sample was taken and sent to nearby Aruba, where measles was confirmed on April 29. Since then, the ship has been quarantined until the exact number of measles sufferers is established.
Passengers and crew are not allowed to leave the ship
A small team of doctors around the epidemiologist Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth went on the ship and took 277 blood samples from the crew and passengers, which were sent to the Netherlands for examination. The results are expected on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019. Until then, anyone who does not have a measles vaccination is not allowed to leave the ship. "If we allowed that to happen, we risk measles spreading to places where the risk of serious complications is much greater, especially when we talk about poor countries where people have less defense," the epidemiologist told the Associated Press News Agency.
The Scientology ship's wandering
According to media reports, the measles was confirmed on April 29. At that time the ship was on its way to St. Lucia. The Curaçao Ministry of Health alerted the St. Lucia authorities just in time, preventing the passengers and crew from leaving the ship. On Saturday, May 4th, the “Freewinds” was finally sent back to Curacao, where the passengers are now waiting for the results of the blood tests. According to Dr. Gerstenbluth, the Dutch health authorities and the Pan American Health Organization will make the decision when passengers and crew can move freely again.
Scientology refuses to comment
A total of 318 people are on board the ship. Scientology does not comment on the incident. According to the website, the ship "Freewinds" is a "religious retreat that serves the most advanced level of spiritual counseling." (Vb)