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WILLEMSTAD, Curacao — Authorities in Curacao boarded a ship Saturday that arrived under quarantine, and they started vaccinating people to prevent a measles outbreak.

Health officials said only those who already have been vaccinated or have previously had measles will be free to leave the 440-foot ship Free-winds, which belongs to the Church of Scientology.

Curacao epidemiologist Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth said that a small team is assessing more than 300 people aboard the ship, and the process was expected to take more than a day.

Authorities worry people aboard the ship might have been exposed after a female crew member was diagnosed with measles after returning from Europe. Gerstenbluth said the crew member arrived on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao on April 17 and visited a doctor April 22 for cold symptoms. A blood sample was taken and sent to nearby Aruba, where officials confirmed Monday that the illness was measles, a day after the ship had departed for St. Lucia. Curacao health officials then alerted authorities in St. Lucia.

The Freewinds was under quarantine in St. Lucia last week before it returned early Saturday to its home port of Curacao.

Print Headline: Measles shots given on quarantined ship at Curacao

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