According to Alaska Business Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Anchorage Quarantine Station notified the Alaska Section of Epidemiology on September 11, 2014 of a "suspected measles (rubeola) case associated with the cruise industry."
The press release stated that "an adult crew member had recent contact with a confirmed measles case abroad, and subsequently developed classic clinical symptoms of measles on September 9 while onboard a ship in Alaska waters."
The patient apparently flew on international and domestic flights as well as cruise travel while infectious. The release says that "all cruise passengers will be informed of possible exposure directly while on board the ship."
The release downplays the chances of the crew member infecting someone who might have disembarked in Alaska. But there remains the possibility that the infected crew member may have infected passengers or other crew members (to the extent that they were not vaccinated) who could get off the ship either in Vancouver or Seattle, assuming this was a cruise which originated in these cities.
The governmental agencies did not mention the name of the cruise ship, but claims that all cruise passenger who possibly could have been infected "will be" notified.
The report raises troubling issues.
Why would the governmental agencies keep the name of the cruise ship secret, except to avoid embarrassment to the cruise line?
Have the cruise passengers (and crew) in fact been informed?
If not, when will the passengers (and crew) be notified?
I'm asking the readers of Cruise Law News the following questions:
Has anyone been notified of the risk of being infected during a cruise to Alaska?
Does anyone know what cruise ships were in Alaskan waters on September 9th?
Measles outbreaks on a cruise are very serious. We reported on such an outbreak earlier this year - Measles Outbreak On Costa Pacifica Cruise Ship.
Have a thought? Please leave a comment or join the discussion on our Facebook page.
September 16 2014 Update: We received the following comments on our Facebook page:
"I just returned from a cruise to Alaska I was on the cruise ship the Pearl we were notified on Saturday that we may have been exposed to the measles.
"We were notified - the crew member was removed from the ship while we were at sea."
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