A dangerous outbreak of measles in Texas has been traced to the Eagle Mountain International Church, whose pastor has been travelling abroad and returned with the virus. The pastor also has a history of warning the church's members against vaccinations.
Nine children and six adults have been infected with measles after a member of the religious group contracted the highly-contagious disease overseas, according to USA Today's Liz Szabo.
Tarrant County Public Health spokesman Al Roy said that at least 12 of those infected had not been fully immunized against measles, and the other patients have no record of being vaccinated.
Eagle Mountain's senior pastor Terri Pearsons, daughter of televangelist Kenneth Copeland, said in a statement that she had reservations about a link between vaccinating children and autism. However, in the wake of the outbreak, the church's pastor and Kenneth Copeland's daughter, Terri Copeland Pearsons, was urging congregants take advantage of a couple of free vaccination clinics the church suddenly has on offer or to self quarantine at home for two weeks if they didn't want to receive vaccinations.
As of Friday, 15 cases had been diagnosed in Tarrant County, Texas, and another five had been treated in its neighboring county of Denton. All of the cases trace to the Eagle Mountain congregation. Five more Texas measles cases from this year are not connected to this outbreak. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services issued a health alert related to the Eagle Mountain outbreak on August 16, and the alert remains in effect.
Vaccination uses a small piece of disease or a milder form of the disease to forewarn the immune system to protect against the disease.
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