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First case of Measles confirmed in West Virginia in fifteen years

MONONGALIA COUNTY The West Virginia Department of Health is monitoring for transmission of measles.

The monitoring follows the state's first documented case of measles since 2009. After confirming the first positive case in Monongalia County a week ago today, state health leaders report 152 additional people who were potentially exposed, 128 West Virginia residents from thirty counties and 24 out-of-state contacts from four neighboring states. According to a news release from the Department of Health, 62 of those exposed in West Virginia lack documentation of adequate protection against measles and are considered at risk. The Bureau for Public Health is strongly recommending those exposed individuals with no evidence of immunity against the virus quarantine until May ninth or tenth depending on their last date of exposure. 

In Logan County, Health Department Director Steve Browning says one Logan resident has potentially been exposed and currently quarantined at home. In Kanawha County, the health department there confirmed potential exposures from the contact tracing.

The Bureau for Public Health says they have been working to ensure adequate supplies testing for measles as well as ensuring availability of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Dr. Matthew Christiansen, State Health Officer, urges West Virginians with questions about their immunity to get tested.

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 healthcare personnel, college students and international travelers.


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