So you thought that measles was a thing of the past? So did we.
We have many adults in this country who have never known anyone who had measles and yet, two weeks ago an outbreak of the sometimes fatal disease emerged in Texas.
Not surprisingly, the origin has been traced to the Eagle Mountain International Church, a division of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. A congregant who had just returned from a trip to Indonesia had infected the congregation before he realized he was ill. Since Kenneth Copeland and his eldest daughter Terri Pearsons, who is the pastor of the Mega-church, have clung to the debunked theory that childhood vaccinations cause autism, there is a large population of unvaccinated people in the congregation. So far there have been 21 cases in the congregation.
Although the county where the church is located has a 98% vaccination rate, the church has most of those in the county who are not vaccinated and all of the children who have contracted the disease are home schooled and were therefore not required by the state to be vaccinated.
In the wake of this outbreak it does have to be said, the church has been very cooperative with health authorities and have recommended that their congregants get vaccinated and scheduled two vaccination clinics. They are not backing off on the skepticism about the vaccine but they are telling their congregation to make their own decision and in the meantime they suggest that they take a lot of Vitamin D to “fortify the immune system” even though this too has no medical validity.
While it is commendable that the church has stepped up and cooperated rather than digging in its heels and “standing by their faith,” as many churches would probably do in this situation, it does seem a lot like closing the proverbial barn door after the horse is gone.
Watch a video about the case here: