On Aug. 16, the Texas State Department of State Health Services has issued an alert due to a measles outbreak spreading its way across Texas.
Currently, 25 persons in the State have been infected with the highly contagious disease. Most of the cases are linked to the Eagle Mountain International Church where the daughter of Evangelist Kenneth Copeland presides.
The outbreak occurred when a visitor who attended a church service had recently returned from traveling abroad, bringing the disease into the state.
Not only was the entire congregation exposed, the visitor also exposed children in the church’s in-house day care facility. Out of all the congregation exposed, nine were children and six adults ranging in the ages from four months to 44 years in age. And, 12 of the people infected were not immunized against the virus, which included a four-month old baby.
Per the medical industries’ standard vaccination schedule, children receiving their first measles immunization are between the ages of 12 to 15 months of age. The second dose should be received between the ages of four to six years of age.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises parents that babies traveling to foreign countries get immunized as early as six months old.
The children who became infected at the church are home schooled, so there is no potential risk to children attending public school.
Texas is a state that requires all students to be vaccinated prior to entering school.
Measles are extremely contagious and can remain airborne or adhere to surfaces for up to two hours once a contagious person infects the area.
Children who are not immunized have a 90 percent risk of being infected than those who have been inoculated.
Eagle Mountain Church is working with health officials in offering vaccinations to the congregation, reminding them that this new outbreak of measles spreading across Texas is a serious matter.
4 million people a year get infected, with the measles killing 500 of those infected. With the western hemisphere’s high rate of inoculation, this figure is virtually eliminated.
Mostly it is the people unvaccinated that contact the disease; autism being the number one reason for a child not receiving the vaccine. This concern especially rests in families who have a family history with autism.
However, more than 20 studies conducted have not been able to link autism with the measles vaccine.
Terri Pearsons the pastor at Eagle Mountain International Church holds reservations concerning inoculations and autism. Many religions shun vaccinations because of the autism link. William Schaffner an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville says this way of thinking is silly and dangerous. Children are the most vulnerable to measles, with one in every 1,000 child becoming infected.
What a parent should know about measles?
Symptoms include a rash, fever higher than 101 F., a cough, runny nose and pink eye. An individual can be contagious four days before the rash begins, to four days after it appears.
A vaccination shortly before or right after getting the measles may prevent or lessen the effects. In addition, globulin given six days after exposure may also prevent the disease for those who can’t be inoculated such as pregnant women, persons with weak immune systems and children too young for the vaccination.
With this information in mind, it is highly suggested that anyone who has not been vaccinated do so now to stop the measles outbreak from spreading throughout the Lone Star State of Texas.
Written by Lisa Graziano