The Tarrant County Public Health Department announced today that an additional case of measles had been reported in the county. Nine children and seven adults have now contracted measles through exposures tied to a visitor to the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, TX. The latest count adds one adult case.
Neighboring Denton County is reporting five measles cases, all in children. These cases are also tied to the church, a part of the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. The 21 cases from both counties involve 14 children and seven adults. The outbreak is the worst in Texas this century.
The MMR vaccine is routinely given to children in the United States, as an infant and just before beginning school. In Tarrant County, 11 of the measles patients have not been immunized, and all five of the Denton County measles cases had not been immunized. The remaining patients may or may not have received at least one shot but do not have records proving their status. All of the children involved are home schooled.
Widespread media reports show that both the Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the Eagle Mountain International Church have preached, in the past, against routine childhood immunizations. The church has this clarification of its position on vaccinations posted on its website:
Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ position regarding dealing with any medical condition involving yourself or someone in your family is to first seek the wisdom of God, His Word, and appropriate medical attention from a professional that you know and trust. Apply wisdom and discernment in carrying out their recommendations for treatment. This would include: vaccinations, immunizations, surgeries, prescriptions, or any other medical procedures.