POINT SERAPHINE, St. Lucia (FOX 13) - A cruise ship believed to belong to the Church of Scientology has been quarantined in St. Lucia since Monday after health officials say a female crew member contracted measles.
The cruise ship is set to depart from St. Lucia at midnight Friday, but it's still unclear where it's going and who will be on board.
The measles virus could spread among the ships nearly 300 passengers. Officials in St. Lucia confirmed the infected person is a female crew member. Thursday, doctors ordered more than 100 doses of the measles vaccine to distribute to passengers who have not been vaccinated. The number of unvaccinated people aboard the ship was not known.
"If there are those individuals who choose not to be vaccinated or can't be vaccinated for medical reasons then those people may then have to be isolated for a period up to 21 days," FOX 13's Dr. Joette Giovinco said.
Officials in St. Lucia confirmed the boat, named Freewinds, was being quarantined. It's believed to the same ship in a promotional video from the Church of Scientology.
"Our epidemiological investigation has verified that the confirmed case, as well as other crew members, are presently stable, but remain under surveillance by the ship's doctor," Dr. Merlene Fredericks James, St. Lucia's Chief Medical Officer.
21 days is the incubation period in which measles could develop. However, a person could be infected for up to 3 weeks before showing any symptoms.
Anyone who has been exposed to measles, but has never been vaccinated should do so within 72 hours to reduce the chance of infection.
"Vaccines save lives," Dr. Jo said. "Vaccines keep us from getting sick. The more children and the more people that contract the disease, the more likely it is we are going to see a death in this country."
FOX 13 has made multiple attempts to reach out to the Church of Scientology, beginning Wednesday. We were told we would be hearing from someone Thursday, but as of Thursday night, we have yet to hear back.