(BARBADOS TODAY) — The Ministry of Health has assured that a cruise liner currently held under quarantine in St. Lucia after a single outbreak on board is not scheduled to dock at Bridgetown.
On Monday, health officials in Castries ordered 300 passengers and crew members on the Freewinds, a vessel owned by the Church of Scientology, not to leave the ship after determining a female crew member had come down with the highly contagious illness.
The ship was due to leave Castries Thursday.
But in a Government statement, the ministry stepped up its call to anyone still not immunised against the disease to visit the nearest polyclinic or GP, for the two-dose measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The Ministry of Health stressed that while there has been no measles outbreak in Barbados, with the last known case recorded in 1990, there have been reports of outbreaks in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Americas. The outbreaks have followed the rise of the “anti-vaxxer” movement of opposition to immunisation.
The MMR vaccine is generally given to Barbadian one-year-olds.
But Senior Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karen Broome cautioned that travellers planning to go to an area where there is an outbreak should ensure that children from six to 11 months receive a dose of the vaccine.
Adolescents and adults must also ensure that they have had their MMR vaccine, the health official said. Two doses of the vaccine fully immunise against measles.
Past measles sufferers have life-long immunity.