FORT WORTH, Okla. – The virus was declared all but wiped out more than a decade ago in this country but now, it’s making a troubling comeback.
The latest outbreak is centered on a mega church near Fort Worth, Texas.
At least 21 cases have originated there, including 14 children, the youngest just 4-months old.
Of the 21 cases originating at this mega church, at least 16 of those were not fully vaccinated
which means two shots as a child, and for most adults, a booster.
The outbreak was traced to a visitor who had traveled overseas.
Dr. Russell Jones, chief epidemiologist at the Tarrant County Health Department said, “Someone who actually had the disease in July had come back from a country where measles is more common, incubating the disease, became sick here and then other people got it.”
Across the country, there have been 161 cases of measles in 16 states so far this year; that’s nearly triple the number in 2012.
While 9 out of 10 children old enough to receive vaccinations get them, pediatrician Dr. Laura Popper said she is concerned about the growing number of families who are opting out for non-medical reasons.
“It’s more upper class, middle class people are deciding they’re afraid of vaccines,” Dr. Popper said. “They brought the idea that autism is connected with MMR and that’s a lie.”
Health officials said well-intentioned parents who choose not to vaccinate are needlessly putting their children and communities at risk.
Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, the CDC says 90 percent of the people who are not fully immunized and come in close contact to that person will also get the infection.