A measles outbreak at Eagle Mountain International Church in Texas has infected 21 people. The church previously urged members to “first seek the wisdom of God [and then] appropriate medical attention from a professional,” but is now running vaccination clinics since the outbreak began on August 14th. The church pastor is encouraging members who have not been vaccinated yet to do so now. The outbreak occurred after a visitor traveled to Indonesia and spread the infection to unvaccinated members of the church. Reports say that 11 of the 16 infected people in the county where the church is located were not vaccinated, and none of the five people infected in a nearby county had been vaccinated.
Measles is highly contagious, and choosing not to be vaccinated can pose a serious risk of infection. Before a vaccine was available, there were about 3-4 million measles cases within the United States, and 500-1000 deaths. The symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, blotchy rash, conjunctivitis, runny nose, and possibly bluish-white spots inside the mouth. A typical case starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and a sore throat, and then progresses to include the white spots inside the mouth, and finally the rash.