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Measles Outbreak Traced Back to Anti-Vaccine Megachurch Pastor in Texas, 21 Reported Cases

Update Date: Aug 26, 2013 09:38 PM EDT
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At least 21 cases of the measles have been traced back to a Texas megachurch pastor who encouraged the parishioners to not vaccinate their children.

The outbreak started when a person who contracted the measles overseas visited Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, located about north of Fort Worth, Texas.

The outbreak was caused by a visitor to the church who had recently traveled to a country where measles remains common, according to Tarrant County Public Health spokesman Al Roy.

Those sickened by measles include nine children and six adults, ranging in age from 4 months old to 44 years old. At least 12 of those infected were not fully immunized against measles, Roy says. The other patients have no record of being vaccinated. The 4-month-old is too young to have been received the measles vaccine, which is typically given at 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Those sickened by measles include nine children and six adults, ranging in age from 4 months old to 44 years old. At least 12 of those infected were not fully immunized against measles, Roy says. The other patients lack documents to show whether they were vaccinated, according to USA Today.

Officials with area health departments said Monday that those affected by the outbreak range in age from 4-months to 44-years-old. All of the school-aged children with the measles were homeschooled.

Coincidently, the outbreak is occurring during National Immunization Awareness Month.

 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.

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