More measles cases linked to Tarrant County Vaccine-fearing megachurch
Posted by doctore0 on August 23, 2013
The toll has grown to 20 cases since last Thursday, when Tarrant’s health department reported the first two.
Fifteen of the measles cases are in Tarrant, including four confirmed Wednesday.
“We are on high alert as we’ve seen case counts can cross county lines overnight,” said Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.
All 20 measles cases so far have been traced to the 1,500-member Eagle Mountain International Church in northeast Tarrant County, health officials said.
The outbreak appears to be occurring within a group of families that has chosen not to get vaccinated, officials said.
“This will spread fast among pockets of unvaccinated people,” Williams said.
Of the 15 cases in Tarrant County, 11 of the infected people were not immunized against the measles.
In Texas, that’s rare. Almost 98 percent of students are vaccinated against the measles when they enter kindergarten, a state requirement for public and private schools, according to the state health department.
About 1 percent of students obtain “conscientious exemptions” for all vaccinations.
In this outbreak, all the infected children in Tarrant County were being home-schooled, said Al Roy, a spokesman for the health department.