Measles forces quarantine of Scientology cruise ship in St. Lucia

Hundreds of passengers on a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology are quarantined after a case of measles was reported.

Now no one on board the Freewinds is allowed to leave the ship, the BBC reported.

NBC News reported there are about 300 passengers and the ship had been under quarantine since Monday.

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The infected person is a female crew member, NBC News reported.

"One infected person can easily infect others through coughing, sneezing, droplets being on various surfaces, etc. So because of the risk of potential infection -- not just from the confirmed measles case, but from other persons who may be on the boat at the time -- we thought it prudent to make a decision not to allow anyone to disembark," Dr. Merlene Fredericks James said in a taped statement, according to the BBC.

Fredericks James is St. Lucia’s chief medical officer.

She said that since measles is highly contagious, it is likely that others could have been exposed to it, NBC News reported.

While no one can get off the ship, St. Lucia officials are not allowed to prohibit it from leaving the island. The ship is scheduled to leave Thursday night, according to NBC News.

There have been outbreaks of measles across the U.S. in recent months because of anti-vaccination movements, The Washington Post reported.

Credit: George Frey/Getty Images

Credit: George Frey/Getty Images

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