Measles Outbreak Linked to Anti-Vax Church Pastor

This Just In 36

vaccineThe vaccine issue is one of the most heated among parents these days. Do you vaccinate your kids? Skip vaccines? Slow vaccinate? Whatever you do, a measles outbreak in Texas should certainly make parents stop and think about who they're getting medical advice from, especially when it pertains to their kids.

The outbreak has affected 11 people so far, including a baby as young as 4 months old, and health officials have tracked it back to a church. Eagle Mountain International Church, it should be noted, is part of the Kenneth Copeland Ministries, whose eponymous pastor is known for promoting faith healing and the (debunked by scientists) myth that autism and the vaccine that prevents measles are linked.

Now Copeland's daughter is urging her congregation to get vaccinated, but the damage is done. The disease is spreading, in large part because of the 11 people sickened, eight had never been immunized

And mark my words, this is a dangerous disease, especially to 4-month-old babies. The CDC warns that measles is rare -- because of vaccinations in America -- but highly contagious and possibly deadly. This is straight from the CDC:

While measles is almost gone from the United States, it still kills nearly 200,000 people each year around the world. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely.

Scary stuff.

Serious stuff. 

So why would anyone take the word of their pastor on this matter? They may be experts on theology, but they're certainly not experts on medicine.

Vaccines are an important issue for parents, and one I understand researching. You don't have to take it on blind faith that you should vaccinate your child.

But when you're doing that research, the most important thing is to make sure you have GOOD information, that you're going to valuable sources. A blog written by some conspiracy theorist living in his grandmother's basement is not a valuable source. A mommy group of women who still believe if they simply share a post on Facebook, Bill Gates will give them $5,000 is not a valuable source. Your checkout clerk at your favorite grocery store is not a valuable source. Your pastor is not a valuable source.

You know who is?

A pediatrician.

If you don't trust one, go talk to a few; it's not wrong to get a second opinion.

You can also check with the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, even the Department of Health and Human Services.

You need science to make these decisions. Science, reason, and complete transparency (yes, I do believe that you should check to see if pharmaceutical companies have funded studies on vaccines).

Who do YOU turn to for advice on vaccinating your children?


Image via Army Medicine/Flickr

baby health, vaccines, autism


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nonmember avatar Kristi

My common sense.

Chana... Chanandler.Bong

Jenny McCarthy. Just kidding. We talked to our pediatrician. In general, it's probably not a good idea to take medical advice from anyone who isn't trained to actually dispense advice. Doctors, holistic practitioners, nurse practitioners, nurses... these people I trust. Celebs, random people, ministers, and people who post comments on blogs and message boards are included in those I don't trust.

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

Wow. Anti-vaxers are responsible for an outbreak. Shocking.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

There was also an out break in the UK recently. Attributed to lack in vaccinations.

keelh... keelhaulrose

It was only a matter of time. Wait until polio starts making the rounds again.

miche... micheledo

Hmmmm.  Maybe I missed it - but the measles came from a VISITOR to this church who had recently traveled internationally.  As far as I can tell, the article doesn't state if HE was or was not vaccinated.   So I am not understanding why everyone is so upset.

IF you don't vaccinate, you prepare for being infected with these diseases.  Mostly non-vaxed people got sick from it.  So what is the big deal???  

And what if the guy who spread it WAS vaccinated??  Just proves my point.  When society traces a disease back to the unvaccinated they stop the investigation or focus on that.  Yet this disease originated with the visitor (who may or may not have been vaxed).  

These diseases don't just come out of thin air to infect the unvaccinated.  Vaccinated are carriers of the disease too.  

ktobin2 ktobin2

I will get my kids vaccinated for everything my doctor tells me to.

lulou lulou

I care because health care is expensive.  (yes, I know pharmas make big money off vaccines too)  but whether its public health or my insurance premiums, there's only a limited $ of dollars, and would rather see that money going to help sick kids with a condition thats not as simply preventable.

Brain... BrainyMommy

Parents who don't vaccinate their children should be charged with murder or assault if the child becomes sick or dies from a disease that was preventable with vaccination.

aeneva aeneva

So BrainyMommy with your logic those who have children die from their vaccines (and yes it does happen about as often as a child contracting a vaccine preventable disease dies) should be charge too.  Vaccination is a personal decision that each family needs to make with the help of their medical professional of choice.  It is NOT a one size fits all thing.


As for the article the disease started with an outsider whose vaccination status has yet to be released so it was NOT an outbreak that started with the non vaxing pastor.  He may have promoted the non vaxing but the disease itself came from outside.

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