CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia is behind the rest of the country when it comes to most vaccinations for their children.

Federal Centers for Disease Control Director of Immunization Dr. Anne Schuchat was in Charleston Tuesday for the 2014 West Virginia Immunization Summit. She said she can’t stress enough how important it is for parents to make sure their kids are protected, especially now that a once dormant disease here in the U.S. has infected hundreds.

“The biggest thing folks in this state need to worry about is measles. Right now, we’re breaking records,” she said. “We’re at a 20-year high with measles. The biggest outbreak is right next door in Ohio.”

Dr. Anne Schuchat heads up the Centers for Disease Control Immunization Program.

There have been 361 reported cases of the measles in Ohio in the past two and a half months. So how did a disease we’d managed to wipe out here in the U.S. make a return appearance?

“There are measles all around the world and there’s a big outbreak in the Philippines with over 30,000 cases. What happened in Ohio is that some individuals went to do mission work, humanitarian assistance in the Philippines but they’d never been vaccinated. They got measles. They brought it back and spread it within their communities,” explained Schuchat.

The concern is that here in West Virginia we have one of the highest unvaccinated populations when it comes to measles.

“Fifteen percent of children in West Virginia are vulnerable to measles. Measles can be serious and is really infectious,” said Schuchat.

According to the Ohio Health Department, the measles are highly contagious. When those infected sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air and the droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours. Infected people are usually contagious from about four days before their rash starts to four days afterwards. An infected person can spread the disease before knowing he or she is infected.

West Virginia, like every other state in the country, requires school age children to have their measles vaccine. Schuchat urged parents to get their children vaccinated well before kindergarten.

“Whenever you’re seeing the doctor or the nurse, ask ‘Is my child up to date? Are there other vaccines my child should be getting,'” stressed Schuchat. “You bring your child in for a cold or flu or something else, just check on the vaccines as well.”

So far there have been no reported outbreaks of measles here in West Virginia.

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  • JMB

    The sad part is, this is a non-issue if people would just get their children immunized.

    Illegals, Obama, libs, whatever you want to rail on. That's all missing the point.

  • David

    Even if your assertions that illegal aliens are bringing measles into WV were accurate, they’re not, an immunized population wouldn’t be affected.
    BTW, if stupidity were a capital crime there would be far fewer comments here.

    • Silas Lynch


      You know full well that many of the "old" diseases are adapting to immunizations and you likely know as well that many of these diseases are flooding across our boarders with unfettered human traffic.
      calif. is ground zero for the reemergence of most of these diseases. California is at epidemic stages right now for Whooping Cough and a new strain of Polio. Why do you suppose it's California bearing the "tip of the spear" here?

      • DB

        By the way, the "polio" in California is not Polio. You are comparing apples to oranges. Many diseases cause paralysis (Herpes zoster and facial paralysis, Guillain-Barre and limbs, etc.)

        The US is polio free, for now. Emotionally charged rants may work for politics, but when it comes to public health, we need logic. I find your comments offensive and misleading. You are obviously not an epidemiologist or anything like it. Quit spreading unfounded fear.

      • DB

        Your argument has a blaring confounder.

        California is ground zero for the anti vaccine movement. Does that count as a "tip of the spear" you made up?

  • David

    Obama's human trafficking of illegals across the border will lead to worse outbreaks than this!

    It's the illegals who have not been immunized that is exposing Americans to all forms of disease and infection !

  • mt

    Wow now obama and liberals are resposible for measles. I say it way to often but u just cant fix stupid!!!!!

    How can these stupid idiots blame the problems of the world on one person?

    Measles was here before obama and it will be here after he leaves office.

    Roger and dwl let me help ya out, its called an education, try it

  • DWL

    So is West Virginian's stupidity, but they won't reinstate the death penalty to execute the liberal, democratic, leftist, corrupt politicians. That's the inoculation the state needs to have.

  • RogerD

    Measles and all sorts of other diseases will be making a comeback thanks to the open borders policy of the Obama administration with the support of most of our own WV representatives.

    • Shepherdstown

      As an Immunologist I can safely say that those who have received a vaccination, particularly with Measles, stay immune for the rest of their life provided the vaccine does not need a boost or the immune system does not degrade.

      Vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to avoid infectious diseases.

      Regardless of how you are exposed.

      Keep up the vaccinations and remove all fear or, in this case, paranoia.

      • Silas Lynch

        Paranoia? That's ridiculous of you, especially coming from an "immunologist" to interject that.. RIDICULOUS!!

      • DWL

        Don't forget to tell them you have m0r0n-care or you're here on the illegal alien vacation plan.

  • Leo

    We also need to NOT take any excuses for not having children vaccinated such as religious beliefs. If you don't vaccinate, then you must home school and keep your kids away from the rest of the responsible population.