Church of Scientology owned cruise ship quarantined after outbreak

Video Contributed

Video Contributed

A cruise ship quarantined in a Caribbean port because of measles belongs to the Church of Scientology.

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".

The case involved a female crew member on the ship, according to NBC News.

NBC News reported that almost 300 passengers and crew were aboard the vessel, with one female crew member diagnosed with measles. Investigative journalist Tony Ortega, an expert on Scientology, spoke to Inside Edition about the ship.

St. Lucia Coast Guard Sgt. Victor Theodore identified the ship as the Freewinds to NBC News, a 440-foot cruise ship owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.

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According to CNN, health officials received a tip from two sources that someone on board the Freewinds had measles, a highly contagious virus that is easily spread by coughing, sneezing, and really any contact with the infected person.

An unidentified person who answered the phone at the church's media centre said no one was immediately available for comment.

This decision to quarantine the ship is in keeping with the health laws of St. Lucia.

Measles has sickened more than 700 people in 22 USA states this year, with federal officials saying the resurgence is driven by misinformation about vaccines.

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

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The battling its biggest measles outbreak since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.

Cases had been recorded in 22 states and were mostly affecting unvaccinated children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.

Most cases occurred in 13 outbreak zones, including in New York City's orthodox Jewish communities. He did not know where the boat had come from and could not confirm the identity of the person with measles. You might find yourself wondering why they were quarantined.

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter the Church of Scientology regarding vaccination said "it takes no position one way or the other on this issue". Scientologists, according to the website, use prescription drugs when physically ill and "rely on the advice and treatment of physicians".

"We have no jurisdiction over their next destination", Fredericks-James told NBC News. Authorities in St. Lucia are working with the Pan American Health Organization and Caribbean Public Health Agency to oversee the quarantine.

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