Lucia quarantines apparent Scientology cruise ship due to measles case

Phillip Cunningham
Мая 3, 2019

The church's website says the Freewinds' home port is Curaçao, and that it's home to the Flag Ship Service Organization, a religious retreat that offers "spiritual counseling".

John Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology in NY explained to the Beliefnet website that there was not official stance on vaccinations "as a religious principle".

St. Lucia health officials have confirmed one case of measles aboard the ship that has been docked in a port near the island nation's capital Castries since Tuesday, Dr. Merlene Frederick-James said in a video statement.

A Scientology cruise ship has been quarantined after a crew member tested positive for measles, NBC News reported. Investigative journalist Tony Ortega, an expert on Scientology, spoke to Inside Edition about the ship.

The St Lucian authorities do not have the authority to keep the ship from leaving, and it is now due to leave the island at 23:59 (03:59 GMT) on Thursday, NBC reports officials as saying.

Fredericks-James said officials made that decision because of the highly contagious nature of the disease, which spreads through coughing and sneezing.

The Church of Scientology has not responded to a request for comment from ABC News.

A cruise ship in St. Lucia has been quarantined.

"The ship's doctor has the confirmed case in isolation on the ship", he added.

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In an interview with the website Beliefnet, Scientology Rev John Carmichael said the organisation has no official rules about vaccinations.

"Today, the ship's doctor requested 100 doses of the Measles vaccine and this is now being provided from our supplies, at no cost", according to the senior health official.

The vast majority of US cases have occurred in children who have not received vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), officials said.

Most cases occurred in 13 outbreak zones, including in New York City's orthodox Jewish communities.

Though some high-profile Scientologists have come out against vaccinations, the church has not taken a specific position on the issue.

With measles cases growing quickly, many adults are now wondering if they were vaccinated as children.

"We have no jurisdiction over their next destination", Fredericks-James told NBC News.

St. Lucia's public health response is being coordinated with other local agencies and partners and we remain in discussion with regional and global health agencies such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

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