Potential McDowell County measles exposure checked and cleared


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

GARY — A McDowell County resident was cleared of any potential exposure to measles after a check showed that an appointment at a Morgantown health facility had been conducted over the internet and not in person, a public health nurse said Tuesday.

Potential measles transmissions have been monitored by the West Virginia Department of Health since April 22 when the state's first measles case since 2009 was documented. Health officials learned of 152 other people who were potentially exposed, 128 West Virginia residents from 30 counties and 24 out-of-state contacts from four neighboring states. Sixty-two of the people exposed in West Virginia lacked documentation showing they had adequate protection against measles and were considered high risk.

The impacted counties in West Virginia include Mercer and McDowell as well as Berkeley, Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Kanawha, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mineral, Monongalia, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Preston, Putnam, Randolph, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Wetzel and Wood.

Administrator Lynn Legg with the Mercer County Health Department said Monday that no measles cases had been reported.

The McDowell County Health Department checked a case about a county resident possibly being exposed to measles at a WVU Health facility in Morgantown, Nurse Director Shannon Hardee said Tuesday.

Hardee said it was soon learned that the appointment at the WVU Health center had been conducted over the internet using the Telehealth system. The patient did not visit the center in person, so that case of potential measles exposure was cleared.

West Virginia residents have been urged to contact their county health departments about getting immunized.

The measles vaccine is typically given in two doses with the first recommended between 12 and 15 months of age. The second dose is recommended between four and six years and, in West Virginia, is required before entering Kindergarten.

Unless they have other evidence of immunity, adults born after 1956 should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine, and two appropriately spaced doses of MMR vaccines are recommended for health care personnel, college students and international travelers. The Bureau for Public Health recommends the safe and effective MMR vaccination as part of routine schedule for all children and adults.

MMR vaccines are available through health care providers and local health departments across the state.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com