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(SNO) — Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James on Tuesday released a statement on the quarantine of a cruise ship.
According to Fredericks-James, the authorities are investigating reports from two reputable sources that there are cases of measles on the vessel.
St. Lucia officials said the country is closely monitoring increased cases of measles in Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean region.
Acting National Epidemiologist Dr. Michelle Francois, in an earlier report, said that while the island has been free of local transmission of measles since 1990, the Department of Health is asking St. Lucians to remain vigilant given the travel ties with affected countries during the tourism season.
She said it is necessary for people here to be educated about the symptoms of measles as it can pose a threat to public health.
“The virus is vaccine-preventable. This means that individuals who are vaccinated against measles will not get it if they are in contact with an infected individual. The virus is spread through droplets of air when the infected individual coughs and talks, so persons need to be on the lookout for certain signs and symptoms.“
“Persons with the infection usually present a fever, which is usually accompanied by a cough. There are characteristics of white spots in the mouth, redness of the eyes or conjunctivitis, as well as a rash which would appear later on in the illness; it starts on the face and moves to the rest of the body,” she added.