Pneumonia outbreak in Central Virginia; 15 confirmed cases

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CAMPBELL COUNTY (WSLS 10) - A local school nurse contacted the health department about an unusual number of children out with pneumonia. That is enough for the Health Department to start investigating. The Central Virginia Health District says they have 15 cases identified and are investigating what is causing the outbreak.

This time of year, influenza can cause pneumonia but Epidemiologist Haley Evans says these cases aren't linked to the flu.

"There are multiple causes of pneumonia --- bacterial or viral pneumonia -- but we have not been able to narrow it down," said Evans.

She says anyone who is having shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or anyone with a high fever should seek medical attention immediately.

The Department of Health is working with Campbell County schools and community the community to investigate. The health department sent testing kits to select medical offices to collect samples. Those samples will be sent to the health department to be tested at the state lab.

Evans says it's hard to say how to avoid this type of pneumonia because they don't know what's causing it yet but she suggests:

-frequent hand washing

-good nutrition

-plenty of rest

-kids and adults need to stay home when sick with fever

-sneeze or cough into elbow rather than hand