A Texas measles outbreak has infected at least 21 people this week and counting, with one of the victims being a 4-month-old child. It is estimated that the number of people who have been sickened by the measles will continue to grow, warned state health officials, reported NBC News this Monday, Aug. 26.
The Texas measles outbreak seems to have a link to a megachurch in Texas. It is known that the ministers of this church — a majority of the victims have ties to the place of worship — have publicly questioned the effectiveness of vaccination. Because of this fact, health experts fear that others may catch the highly infectious sickness.
“There’s likely a lot more susceptible people,” said one CDC official on the measles outbreak.
So far, a total of 16 people (seven adults and nine children, including the 4-year-old infant) have come down with the virus this week in Tarrant County, Texas. In the past couple of days, at least five more cases have been reported in the outbreak in Denton County.
According to the report, the Texas measles outbreak has individual cases connected to the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark. The source of the measles, health officials believe, is a traveler who visited Indonesia earlier this year. When that traveler returned to the Texas community, they had contracted measles, and began to infect others. Again, experts fear for these megachurch parishioners in particular because the community is (for the most part) unvaccinated.
“We have a pocket of people that weren’t immunized,” added the CDC official, adding that vaccination rates typically hover above the 98 percent range in the county.
The number of measles is expected to continue increasing, concluded the report, as infections have spread to both staff and community members at Eagle Mountain International Church. Health officials are now urging any who are not immunized to head to their local doctors immediately and get vaccinated for the measles.
According to a church statement on the 21 victims:
“We continue to follow up on pending and confirmed cases to help in any way we can to keep the outbreak contained … We ask that others join us in prayers over this outbreak.”
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