Measles Outbreak May Be Nearing End - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Measles Outbreak May Be Nearing End

If no new cases show up in next few weeks, Tarrant County may be in the clear.



    All of the Tarrant County measles cases are no longer contagious. Tarrant County Public Health says that means we could be weeks away from the outbreak being over. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013)

    The Tarrant County health department says all of its measles cases linked to a megachurch are no longer contagious, meaning the outbreak could be over in a few weeks.

    The number of measles cases remains at 16 in Tarrant County, while Denton County has another five. All are connected to Eagle Mountain International Church, which is in unincorporated Tarrant County but has a Newark address.

    On Monday, a 16th case was confirmed in Tarrant County. On Tuesday, Dr. Anita Kurian told the Tarrant County Commissioners Court that the outbreak may soon be over.

    "If we don't have any more new cases, then we'll know by the second week of September that this cluster is pretty much over with," she said.

    None of the cases, nine of which involve children younger than 10, remain contagious.

    In Newark, which is mostly in Wise County but just a short drive away from the church, there has been concern about the outbreak.

    "I made sure my grandkids had their shots up to date and were doing fine; no fever or anything like that," said Janie Gaught, whose children live in Newark.

    Newark City Hall has not heard of anyone in town getting sick, but the city did close its library for several days last week as a precaution.

    Several Newark residents say they haven't been informed of the health concerns in Tarrant and Denton counties, despite living just a very few short miles from the church.

    "I find it kind of disturbing being this close to ... home," Mike Loggins said.

    Gaught agreed, saying it was a big concern because Newark residents can "open the door and see Copeland's ministry right there at your doorstep."

    Tarrant County Public Health said it is still investigating a few more possible cases that were exposed, so the number could still go up before the outbreak is over.

    Kurian said health officials continue to watch but are cautiously optimistic.