Chief Medical Officer here Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James has joined in calls for citizens to get vaccinated against measles. She is joining US health officials in maing the appeal. The United States is one of the island’s major tourism source markets and is currently experiencing one of the worst years of measles outbreaks in recent history.

As of April 15, 2019, there have been 555 individual cases in 19 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source reports.

This is the second greatest number of U.S. cases since the disease was declared eliminated back in 2000.

Saint Lucia was forced to quarantine a visiting cruise ship recently after a crew member contracted measles. All 300 passengers onboard the Free winds cruise ship owned and operated by the Church of Scientology have since been cleared from the risk of spreading or contracting measles.

Those aboard the ship who had been vaccinated or had the measles before were free to leave  the 440-foot vessel. Everyone else would be vaccinated while on board. Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James is happy that the all clear has been given. She says St. Lucia is ready to welcome the vessel on its return here but she  warned  that the  measles outbreak is showing its ugly head in various tourism source markets and because of that vaccination is a must.

SLP Spokesman on Health Moses Jn. Baptiste applauded the ministry of Health for the way it handled the situation involving the cruise liner

Freewinds protocols of safety and medical care,  proved highly effective in containing the illness to one single case.

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