The major cause behind the measles outbreak is hesitance toward vaccination and misinformation spread about its efficacy.
Off the Caribbean islands, the measles stricken cruise ship has been quarantined, which is reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology. A female crew member has been confirmed with the measles case causing the ship to quarantine since April 29, 2019. According to reports, over 300 passengers are on board. According to Church of Scientology’s website, the vessel is 440-feet long and named Freewinds which hosts religious retreats ministering the most advanced level of spiritual counseling in the Scientology religion. The ship has been quarantined in a port in the Caribbean Island’s capital since the officials discovered infected patients.
St. Lucia’s Chief Medical officer Dr. Merlene Fredicks-James said, “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.” St. Lucia was declared measles free since 2016, which means it has been free from local measles transmission as it was last reported in 1991. However, health officials, there are extremely cautious over travelers importing highly infectious reporters.
“Due to the high intensity of international travel related to the large tourism sector, the Caribbean region remains at high risk for the importation of measles and rubella cases,” said Dr. C. James Hospedales who is the executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency. The measles outbreak is not restricted to St. Lucia as according to the World Health Organization, April 2019, reported a 300 percent increase in global measles cases. Moreover, the U.S. has currently 700 confirmed cases of measles in 2019, being the highest number of cases since 1994. A lot of health officials around the world are blaming the hesitance toward the vaccination for this outbreak