Passengers to remain quarantined on cruise ship until being cleared by officials

Posted: Updated:
CURAÇAO -

Health inspectors reportedly boarded a cruise ship in Curaçao Saturday to investigate a case of the measles.

The Freewinds Cruise Ship, run by the Church of Scientology, spent days quarantined in port in St. Lucia before making its way back to Curaçao.

A female crew member tested positive for the measles. Now, the Curaçao government will not let any of the 300 people on board off of the ship until they've determined who is susceptible to the disease.

While quarantined, the ship's doctor requested 100 doses of the measles vaccine Thursday, which St. Lucia's Health Ministry said they provided for free.

"The Freewinds does not play around with the people who board the ship," said General Hafeezah, a scientologist who was on board the ship a week earlier. "They are very serious about security. Very serious about health. Very serious about high integrity. And so for me, it's the safest ship in the ocean."

The Church of Scientology didn't respond to CNN's request for comment. It says on its website that the ship is a religious retreat at the pinnacle of a scientologist's spiritual journey.

The church has no official stance on vaccinations. But professor Stephen Kent, an expert on scientology, says there is a church philosophy that high-ranking scientologists can fend off illness.

"The issue about the Freewinds, is it's filled with high-ranking scientologists," Kent says. "So consequently, a high-ranking scientologist very well could imagine that the Freewinds would be one of the last places on earth that a person would get sick."

The measles were declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. There are more than 700 confirmed cases this year.

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