Cruise ship quarantined for measles case heads to Curacao
Willemstad, Curacao – Authorities in Curacao debated on Friday how to respond to a ship with 300 people aboard that is heading to the Dutch Caribbean island after being placed under quarantine in nearby St. Lucia because of a confirmed case of measles.
The ship left St. Lucia late Thursday after spending two days under quarantine. Authorities there said the ship’s doctor requested 100 vaccines after a female crew member was diagnosed with measles. It is unclear whether she remains in St. Lucia.
Health officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 440-foot Freewinds ship is reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology. Church officials have not returned messages for comment.
The ship is scheduled to arrive early Saturday in Curacao, where it is normally docked when not in use.
Curacao epidemiologist Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth said the female crew member arrived April 17 in Curacao from Europe and visited a doctor April 22 for cold symptoms. A blood sample was taken and sent to nearby Aruba, where officials confirmed it was measles on April 29, a day after the ship had departed for St. Lucia. Curacao health officials then alerted authorities in St. Lucia.
It was unclear what the crew member was doing in Europe.
Officials urged anyone who visited the ship from April 22-28 to get a medical checkup.