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.

WVRHA Board Member Quintin Brubaker Wins National Student Leadership Award

Photo by WVU School of Medicine News

WVU School of Medicine News

Quintin Brubaker, a fourth-year medical student at West Virginia University, is the recipient of the 2019 Student Leadership Award from the National Rural Health Association.

The Winchester, Virginia native has a deep-rooted history in community-focused healthcare. Prior to joining the WVU School of Medicine, Brubaker worked as an emergency medical technician and then paramedic in rural areas of his home state.

“The experience helped me recognize how many primary healthcare needs were being unmet in these rural communities,” Brubaker said. “Rather than being the provider who shows up when something has already gone wrong, I wanted to help people in communities stay well and maybe avoid some of these situations to begin with.”

Read the full story at

Introducing the New West Virginia Health Jobs Website

Photo: Luis Melendez/Unsplash

Here at the West Virginia Rural Health Association we know how vital it is to keep and attract the best and brightest health professionals, at all stages of their career, to live and work in West Virginia.

Toward that mission we are proud to announce the creation of – an online resource dedicated entirely to helping graduates and health professionals find health jobs in West Virginia.

It’s early days yet but our goal is for to become a one-stop shop for job seekers and employers.

If your organization or company wants to reach potential candidates across the region, it’s free and simple to post your job.

Just visit and follow the prompts.

  1. Click POST A JOB.
  2. Enter your email and the job title.
  3. Enter a snipper of info about the job. It doesn’t have to be much – a paragraph or two is fine – you’ll be able to link back to your original job posting in a moment.
  4. Enter the URL back to your original job posting where it says Application URL.
  5. Add as much or as little info about your company as you like.
  6. At the bottom, add your logo if you like. This will display your logo next to the job posting.
  7. Hit Preview, and you’re away. The site will create an account for you so you can continue to post jobs and your company info will be saved. You’ll be able to edit and delete your posts using Employer Dashboard.

The West Virginia Rural Health Association will be regularly sharing and promoting new job listings to our large and growing network of students and professionals across the state, getting your job in front of the right people.

Need talent? Whether it’s an unpaid internship or a CEO, the West Virginia Health Jobs website is an important step toward keeping more skilled and committed health professionals in our state, and in doing so advancing quality health care in our rural communities.

To learn more visit

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

New Guide Helps Smoking Cessation Efforts in Substance Abuse Programs

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a new guide to help health professionals with tobacco cessation efforts.

The guide, Implementing Tobacco Cessation Programs in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings – A Quick Guide for Program Directors and Clinicians, is now available for free download.

The new guide notes research that found cigarette smoking is very common among people with substance use problems. Past-month smoking was reported by 74 percent of people ages 12 and older who received SUD treatment in the past year—a rate approximately three times higher than that for people who did not receive treatment in the same period.

The rate of tobacco-related deaths is substantially higher for people who have received SUD treatment services compared with the general population.

But less than half of all U.S. substance use disorder treatment facilities offer tobacco cessation services.

Download the guide now. For more information visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.