A Memphis, Tennessee, mosque is responsible for an outbreak of measles in the state last month, according to Dr. Alisa Haushalter, Director of the Shelby County Health Department.
“The mosque is one location we know that individuals who were infectious were during their infectious period, but that’s not necessarily where the first case occurred,” Haushalter explained to the news source.
Moreover, she also said that the outbreak could have began from an unvaccinated refugee who came to Tennessee for resettlement.
So far, seven cases of the measles have been reported in Memphis since Apr. 15, and there could of course be more in the future.
The first case reported cases were an adult and young child, but they were not confirmed cases of the measles until Apr. 22, about one week after possible exposure.
The Shelby County Health Department said that the first contact of a person with measles with another person was at the Masjid-Al-Noor-Mosque between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Apr. 15.
Currently, the federal refugee resettlement process does not require refugees to be updated on any vaccinations before they enter the country.
Tennessee became one of the more recent states to participate in the refugee resettlement process, but later filed a lawsuit against the federal government, saying that officials felt forced to participate in the program.
Originally, the state did not want to take part in administering shelter to any outside refugees due to state leaders’ safety and security concerns — which would appear, given this latest news, to have been well-founded.
Tennessee was the third state to sue the government over the refugee resettlement process.