Moundsville, WV- The Marshall County Health Department is starting to see children return to school and less absenteeism. It appears this outbreak is dwindling down though we are still seeing some new cases present.  We have been in close contact with the state Epidemiology Department as well as Infectious Disease along with Allergy and Immunology at West Virginia University.

Generally, illnesses are short lived lasting 3-5 days with no significant complications. Most appear to be viral in nature with a bronchitis/bronchiolitis presentation including fatigue, fever, cough and runny nose that typically respond to supportive care. However, some do appear to more of a Pneumonia type picture.  We have been obtaining samples and sending to the state for further evaluation and most samples have returned negative.  One sample did return positive for Parainfluenza which is a common virus that can range from cold-like symptoms to bronchiolitis or even pneumonia.

In consultation with Infectious Disease and Allergy and Immunology at West Virginia University it appears that most of what we are dealing with is a viral etiology though it is possible in rare cases for a bacterial cause.  There does not appear to be any consistent trend with any particular virus or bacteria that strays from the predicted norms.

We would like to reinforce the importance of frequent hand washing and covering your cough, would not recommend return to school until 48 hours fever free.  The schools have done an excellent job sanitizing all surfaces and using ionizer equipment to aid in reducing risk of transmission.

We defer treatment recommendations to the patient’s provider evaluating the patient.  Factors including age, quality and duration of illness, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and pulse oximetry should be used as an adjunct as to whether antibiotics are appropriate versus supportive care and close follow-up to ensure improvement. We will continue to monitor the situation and please contact the Marshall County Health Department with any concerns or updates at (304) 845-7840.