Athens Review, Athens, Texas

In the News

August 27, 2013

Texas megachurch linked to 21 measles cases

DALLAS — A Texas megachurch linked to at least 21 cases of measles has been trying to contain the outbreak by hosting vaccination clinics, officials said.

The outbreak started when a person who contracted measles overseas visited Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, about 20 miles north of Fort Worth, Texas. Health department officials said those sickened ranged in age from 4-months to 44-years-old. All of the school-age children with measles were homeschooled.

“If it finds a pocket of people who are unimmunized, and the majority of our cases are unimmunized so far, then if you are around a person with measles, you will get sick,” Russell Jones, chief epidemiologist for Tarrant County Public Health, said Monday.

In Tarrant County, where the church is located, 11 of the 16 people with measles were not vaccinated while the others may have had at least one measles vaccination. None of the five people infected in nearby Denton County have been vaccinated.

In a sermon posted online, senior pastor Terri Pearsons encouraged those who haven't been vaccinated to do so, adding that the Old Testament is “full of precautionary measures.”

“I would encourage you to do that. There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. Go do it. Go do it. Go do it. And go in faith,” said Pearsons, whose father is televangelist Kenneth Copeland. But she added, if “you've got this covered in your household by faith and it crosses your heart of faith then don't go do it.

“The main thing is stay in faith no matter what you do.”

Measles is spread by coughing, sneezing and close personal contact with infected people; symptoms include a fever, cough, and a rash on the face. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get two doses of the combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, called the MMR. The first dose should be given when the child is 12 to 15 months old and the second at 4 to 6 years old.

Vaccination opt-out rates nationwide have been creeping up since the mid-2000s, spurred in part by the belief that the vaccinations routinely given to infants could lead to autism, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

Pearsons' father is a pioneer of the prosperity gospel, which holds that believers are destined to flourish spiritually, physically and financially — and share the wealth with others. He has built a vast ministry with a worldwide reach. Eagle Mountain International Church is located on the grounds as the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.

Robert Hayes, risk manager with Kenneth Copeland Ministries, said they have held several vaccination clinics since the outbreak. He said the church has never advised against immunization against measles or seeking medical care.

A statement from the organization said their position is to “first seek the wisdom of God, His Word, and appropriate medical attention from a professional that you know and trust.”

Hayes did not know why some people had not immunized their children.

“Some had for whatever reason chosen not to. Some depending on the age of their child were advised by their physician to wait until the child was a certain number of years old. I don't get a sense for why after that they did not,” he said.

He said if people are still choosing to not be immunized and they've been exposed to the measles, they are being asked to isolate themselves until it is clear they are not infected.

The incubation period for measles is about two weeks from exposure to fever. People are contagious from four days before getting the rash to four days before breaking out in a measles rash.

Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Christine Mann said so far across the state there have been 27 cases of the measles this year, and that five of those cases were not connected in any way to the latest outbreak. She said it is unclear whether a case recently diagnosed in Harris County, where Houston is located, is tied to the outbreak. There were no cases in the state last year and six the year before.

1
Text Only
In the News
  • Parsons Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    Stacie Marie Parsons, 25, walked into the Athens Police Department at 8:46 a.m. Monday and confessed to killing her 4-year-old daughter.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • g000258000000000000f99cd4724578efa27c155fb3a1dcc7c68e3109e5.jpg Suspects sought in armed robberies in Corsicana

    Corsicana Police are looking for suspects in a pair of armed robberies the past week.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Feds: Texas voting maps deliberately discriminated

     The U.S. Justice Department told judges Monday that Texas lawmakers carefully crafted electoral maps marginalizing minority voters despite the state's exploding Hispanic population in a deliberate effort to racially discriminate and protect conservative incumbents.

    July 14, 2014

  • Four children among six dead in suburban Houston shooting

      A father opened fire at a suburban Houston home Wednesday, killing four of his children as well as two adults who were with them, and critically wounding his 15-year-old daughter, authorities said.

    July 10, 2014

  • Corsicana firefighter killed in one-car crash

     An off-duty Corsicana fireman was killed and his two young sons were injured in a one-car crash on FM 709 north of Dawson Tuesday night.

    An off-duty Corsicana fireman was killed and his two young sons were injured in a one-car crash on FM 709 north of Dawson Tuesday night.

    Justice of the Peace Jackie Freeland identified the deceased fireman as Louis Lachney, 46. He was a Lieutenant with the Corsicana Fire Department.

    The crash was reported at 11:27 p.m. Tuesday and occurred  at a sharp curve in the roadway on FM 709 about two miles north of State Highway 31 near Dawson.

    DPS Sgt. Thomas Moore, supervisor at the crash site, said Lachney’s convertible Mazda was traveling north on FM 709 and failed to negotiate a sharp curve, leaving the roadway and overturning several times.

    Moore said Lachney and his two sons who were passengers in the car were all ejected from the vehicle. Moore said the three were apparently not wearing seat belts.

    The two injured boys walked to the roadway following the crash where they were discovered by a passing motorist, who notified law enforcement of the crash.

    Moore said the two boys were transported by air ambulance to a Dallas hospital. He said they were in serious but stable condition when transported from the crash site.

    DPS Trooper LaTonya Daniels is investigating the crash. Corsicana EMS, volunteer firefighters, and Navarro County Sheriff's Office deputies assisted at the crash site. - See more at: http://www.corsicanadailysun.com/local/x611407136/Corsicana-firefighter-killed-in-one-car-crash#sthash.cKzZVvbj.dpuf

    July 9, 2014

  • RNC to be held in Cleveland

    A Republican National Committee panel is recommending Cleveland to host the party's 2016 presidential convention.

    July 8, 2014

  • ADR logo.tif Border money request won't include policy change

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Killer of 2 Henderson County deputies loses appeal

     An East Texas man sentenced to death for a shootout that left two Henderson County sheriff's deputies dead seven years ago has lost a federal court appeal, moving him a step closer to execution.

    June 30, 2014

  • Bond set at $1M for ex-cop in suitcase deaths

    ELKHORN, Wis. (AP) — Two women whose remains were found stuffed in suitcases dropped along a rural Wisconsin highway may have died accidentally, perhaps during consensual sex, the defense attorney for a former police officer suspected in their deaths said Friday.

    June 27, 2014

  • Texas DMV prepares for sticker shock of losing inspection tag

    In less than nine months Texas windshields are going to start looking different, and Department of Motor Vehicles officials are gearing up to avoid a sticky situation when car owners transition from having two state-required tags to one.

    June 25, 2014

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City