Moundsville, WV- The Marshall County Health Department has been contacted about an unusual number of children out with pneumonia in most schools in Marshall County. That is enough for the Health Department to start an investigation. Tom Cook, Administrator says they have 48 cases identified and are investigating what is causing the outbreak.
According to Cook, he has sent a Sanitarian to the school to evaluate the situation and reports that Marshall County School Administrators have been proactive by having their buildings properly cleaned, educating students and teachers, and reinforcing proper hand-hygiene.
This time of year, influenza can cause pneumonia, but these cases do not seem to be linked to the flu. “There are multiple cases of pneumonia—bacterial or viral—but we have not been able to narrow it down,” said Cook.
He says anyone who is having shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or anyone with a high fever should seek medical attention immediately.
The Marshall County Health Department is working with Marshall County Schools, State Health Department and the community to investigate. The health department sent test kits to select medical offices to collect samples. Those samples will be sent to the health department to be tested at the state lab.
Cook says it is hard to say how to avoid this type of pneumonia because they do not know what is causing it yet but he suggest: frequent hand washing, good nutrition, plenty of rest, kids and adults need to stay home when sick with a fever, sneeze or cough into the elbow rather than the hand.