CDC Releases Report on Measles Outbreak

Photo courtesy Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the recent increase in measles cases, including a summary of all of the measles cases reported from January 1 – April 26 this year.

During that period a total of 704 cases were reported, the highest number of cases reported since 1994. Outbreaks in close-knit communities accounted for 88 percent of all cases.

Of 44 cases directly imported from other countries, 34 were in U.S. residents traveling internationally; most were not vaccinated.

The full report can be viewed at the CDC website, here.

Here are some key points from the CDC about the measles outbreak:

  • The median age of the patients reported was 5 years.
  • About 1 out of every 4 cases was a child between 16 months and 4 years old.
  • 71% of the individuals with measles were unvaccinated, and another 18% had an unknown vaccination status. 11% were vaccinated.
  • Overall, 66 (9%) patients were hospitalized and 24 (3%) had pneumonia. No deaths or cases of encephalitis were reported to CDC.
  • New York and New York City have accounted for 67% of all of the reported measles cases this year so far.
  • The vast majority (98%) of the cases were U.S. residents. Forty-four of the cases were the result of an international traveler (usually a U.S. resident) becoming infected in another country and returning to the United States.

Here is general information from the CDC about measles and MMR vaccine:

  • Individuals may not be vaccinated for many reasons. Some adults may not be aware they need the vaccine. Some children may not be up to date either because the child is unable to be vaccinated or because the caregiver refuses or delays vaccination.
  • In New York, parents may refuse or delay MMR vaccine because of concerns based on the misinformation being spread by some organizations about the vaccine safety and effectiveness, as well as disease severity.
  • Measles can be serious. There is no way to predict how bad a case will be. There is no treatment or cure for measles. Some children may have very mild symptoms but others may face more serious complications, like pneumonia and encephalitis. We have seen a variety of cases in this outbreak, from mild to severe.
  • CDC’s MMR vaccine routine recommendations are as follows:
    • Children 12 months of age or older should have 2 doses, the first dose at age 12 to 15 month and the second dose between 4 to 6 years.
    • Adults who do not have evidence of immunity should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.

Please visit for more information or e-mail with any questions.

Boone Memorial Hospital Board of Directors Pledges $250K to fight addiction


At its February meeting, Boone Memorial Hospital Board of Directors pledged two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars to combat the addiction epidemic in rural West Virginia.

“Part of our mission is to promote wellness and health to benefit the community at-large,” said Board President Bob Brown. “We feel it’s important and necessary for Boone Memorial Hospital to uphold its mission by becoming a key player in the fight against addiction.”

Success of the hospital’s current 340B Drug Discount Program, implemented in 2012, allowed the facility to make the two-hundred and fifty thousand dollar pledge. The 340B Drug Discount Program is a US federal government program that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations and covered entities at significantly reduced prices.


A Recipe For Healthier Lungs


It’s no secret that a well-balanced diet keeps our bodies and minds strong and healthy. But did you know that eating the right foods can also keep your lungs healthy? The right nutrients in your diet can help support lung function, especially if you have an underlying lung disease like COPD.

During National Nutrition Month, we want to know what you eat to help boost your lung health. Will you share your favorite healthy recipes? Send them our way—and we’ll share them on Facebook and Twitter to help everyone take stock of their nutrition.

A well-nourished body is better able to handle infections, illness or side effects from lung disease. Healthy, well-portioned meals can make every breath more comfortable, especially if you have some underlying lung disease. Avoid foods that cause gas or bloating, and eat smaller meals that allow your lungs to fill and empty easier. Maintaining a healthy weight is important since belly fat can restrict the expansion of your lungs.

Tell us—what do you eat that makes you feel good and breathe easier? Share your recipes now »

Over the upcoming weeks, we’ll share some of your recipes with the hashtag #LungHealthRecipes—follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!




Late yesterday the House Finance Committee surprised everyone with HB 3136 – a bill that hits our poorest families with a work mandate for those on Medicaid – that no one had seen before and passed it without a hearing, fiscal note, or an opportunity to understand the impact on West Virginia’s families and economy.

  • HB 3136 will lead to tens of thousands more uninsured West Virginians.
  • West Virginia will lose millions of federal dollars that support our rural hospitals and providers.
  • The greater burden of uninsured patients will lead to higher bills for other patients and even closures.  And our economy and jobs will take a hit too.
  • HB 3136 will cost millions of dollars to administer.  It will pull our state into a costly lawsuit to strike down a work mandate as not advancing the purpose of the Medicaid statute.
  • Medicaid provides access to needed treatments that allow enrollees to control conditions (like diabetes or heart disease) so they can seek and maintain employment.  HB 3136 will set off a vicious cycle for enrollees who work but don’t have the flexibility to go to a doctor or any medical leave benefits – they will lose the very coverage that helps them be productive.
  • HB 3136 does nothing to create jobs.  It does not invest in work skills training or education so enrollees can get jobs that truly lift them out of poverty

PLEASE Call your House Delegate and Senator and ask them to oppose HB 3136. 

PLEAE Call the leadership in both chambers.  

For phone numbers go to and click on the tabs for the House and Senate.

New Marshall ECHO Clinics to Focus on Treatment of Endocrinology and Cardiology Issues in West Virginia


Marshall University has launched a new program to help primary care providers treat conditions associated with endocrinology and cardiology issues.

ECHO Clinics, in partnership with Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) will be held the first Tuesday of each month at 12 p.m. with alternating endocrinology and cardiology sessions.

Project ECHO uses a telehealth model to bridge the gap in health care for rural and underserved communities.

Contact Jennifer Plymale at to learn more or if you are interested in participating in ECHO clinics.

Participation in teleECHO clinics is free. Participants who join teleECHO clinics receive free Continuing Medical Education credits for the total time spent participating, including didactics and patient-case presentations.

What is Project ECHO?

The ECHO model is not ‘traditional telemedicine’ where the specialist assumes care of the patient, but instead a guided practice model where the primary care provider retains responsibility for managing the patient.

During a teleECHO clinic, using video technology, primary care providers in multiple locations present patient cases to a multidisciplinary team of specialists to determine treatment. These specialists serve as mentors, training community providers to provide care in clinical areas that were previously outside their expertise.

Over time the primary care providers operate with increased independence as their skills and self-efficacy grow. A teleECHO clinic is, essentially, virtual grand rounds. Primary care providers from multiple locations connect at regularly scheduled times with a team of specialists using low cost, multi-point videoconferencing.

During teleECHO clinics providers present patient cases to specialist expert teams who mentor the providers to manage patients with common, complex conditions. These case based discussions are supplemented with short didactic presentations to improve content knowledge and share evidence based best practices.

Geriatrics ECHO

Elderly patients are a unique and growing population in Central Appalachia and can benefit tremendously from advanced treatment techniques.

Marshall Health’s Geriatrics ECHO will provide education and support to rural and suburban providers on the challenges faced by these important patients.

Shirley Neitch, MD, FACP, AGSF, Chief of Marshall’s Section of Geriatrics, will provide didactic instruction on emerging issues in geriatrics care and lead discussions on sample case studies provided by real clinics.

The initial ECHOs will focus on responsible benzodiazepine administration and deprescribing and future events will explore other areas of geriatric care, including dementia.

Geriatric ECHOs will be held via videoconference on the third Tuesday of each month starting Feb. 19.

For more information or to register your organization to participate, contact J.T. Schneider at 304-691-8982 or

Responding to Hep A Outbreak, Volunteers Needed to Administer Vaccine


The Bureau for Public Health (BPH) is seeking medical volunteers to administer Hepatitis A vaccine at several clinics that will be conducted throughout the state, in response to a Hepatitis A outbreak in West Virginia.

Health care professionals are especially needed to administer Hepatitis A vaccine at the Charleston Treatment Center on 1/11/2019.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Tony Leach, Volunteer Coordinator with the West Virginia Center for Threat Preparedness (CTP) as soon as possible at or by phone at 304-558-6900 to be placed on a vaccination strike team roster.

Since March 2018 West Virginia has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of confirmed cases of acute Hepatitis A virus (HAV) across the state.

The HAV outbreak in West Virginia includes over 2,000 confirmed cases in 40 counties.The BPH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide HAV vaccine to at-risk populations and are assisting Local Health Departments to implement vaccination strategies across the state.

As part of this statewide initiative, BPH will be coordinating and participating in a series of vaccination clinics in January 2019. It is currently targeting 7 Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) Comprehensive Treatment Centers located in Raleigh, Harrison, Wood, Mingo, Kanawha, Ohio and Cabell counties.

The clinics will take place from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the first taking place in Cabell County on Jan. 4, 2019.

Medical volunteers are needed to help administer HAV vaccine at these clinics. Prior experience in vaccine administration and/or participating in mass vaccination clinics is preferred, but not required. Just In Time (JIT) training will be offered to interested volunteers.

Confirmed clinics dates are as follows:

  • Huntington Treatment Center – 1/4/2019
  • Williamson Treatment Center – 1/7/2019
  • Beckley Treatment Center – 1/8/2019
  • Charleston Treatment Center – 1/11/2019
  • Parkersburg Treatment Center – 1/22/2019

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Tony Leach, Volunteer Coordinator with the West Virginia Center for Threat Preparedness (CTP) as soon as possible at or by phone at 304-558-6900 to be placed on a vaccination strike team roster.

Just because you are placed on the volunteer roster, does not mean you will be required to participate in the clinics. We will work around schedules to make sure you are available before assigning to a clinic. Once all logistical information is confirmed, Mr. Leach will follow up to coordinate JIT and clinic coverage dates to ensure it fits your schedule.