By Bob Weaver

6:30 PM 1/23/2020 - The Hur Herald requested a report from the WV Poison Control Center regarding substances found on a balloon or condom that was exposed to students on a Calhoun school bus early Thursday.

Elizabeth J. Scharman, Pharm.D., DABAT, BCPS, FAACT, Director, WV Poison Center, Professor, WVU School of Pharmacy; Dept. Clinical Pharmacy said:

"It was reported that a few children on a school bus were playing with, or touched, an expanded balloon (or condom) that another student on the bus had given them. The children who had contact with the balloon were evaluated. No serious symptoms were reported. No child had a seizure."

"The balloon was sent for testing at a WV lab capable of testing for a large number of pharmaceutical and chemical products. Although there were initial reports that a powder was seen on the balloon, testing was negative with the exception of a small quantity of a chemical that has use as a flavoring during food processing. It is likely that this substance came from the bus floor or the dumpster where the balloon was found."

"Both balloons and condoms (which can be turned into a balloon) often have a residue on them. For balloons, this residue is talcum powder used to help remove balloons from their molds when they are manufactured. For condoms, this residue is cornstarch. Balloons and condoms are designed to be safe with direct oral contact during inflation or use. Therefore, touching this residue does not cause poisonings."

With today’s incident, there is no concern for delayed symptoms, Dr. Scharam concluded.

3:45 PM 1/23/2020 - Kelli Whytsell, Calhoun Superintendent of Schools: "We appreciate your understanding today as we took precautionary measures to work through an incident that took place on the buses this morning."

"The safety of our students is our primary concern. At a conference call today at 2:00 p.m. several state and local agencies have stated that the incident is no longer a credible threat. Buses will be running at the regularly scheduled time."

"The Poison Control doctor on the conference call stated, "It is not expected to cause any delayed effects" if a parent has concerns, they can call the Poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Thank you for your support." "We appreciate the parents understanding today as we have released several phone calls and Facebook posts. We attempted to update you as soon as we had information to share. We have received word that the substance was clean from the test that was completed. Thank you Calhoun County Schools" 3:15 PM 1/23/2020 - Calhoun Schools have issued calls to parents saying the the Poison Control Center has affirmed that a substance apparently released on a school bus early Thursday morning does not pose a credible threat to those students.

AM BUS INCIDENT SENDS CALHOUN STUDENTS TO HOSPITAL - Pleasant Hill Middle-High On Shut-Down - Authorities Investigating

By Bob Weaver

10 AM 1/23/2010 - Problems affecting some children during the early morning bus run at Pleasant Hill Elementary School were reported to Calhoun 911, with some students being transported to Minnie Hamilton Health System.

Calhoun Schools or the West Virginia State Police have yet to release information to the Hur Herald regarding the nature of the incident, numerous unconfirmed reports indicate that an unknown chemical substance was transmitted to other students on the bus.

However, WCHS TV reported West Virginia State Police said a student had a balloon on a bus that contained some type of powder. The balloon popped and some of the powder was transferred to students on the bus.

WCHS-TV said "State Police are unsure what the powder was but as a precaution, students on the bus were taken to Minnie Hamilton Health System in Grantsville and quarantined."

Mid-morning an ambulance was dispatched to Calhoun Middle-High School for a 12-year old female who was taken to Minnie Hamilton Health System, apparently related to the incident.

Pleasant Hill Elementary administration was informed of an incident involving several children. Parents of the children involved have been contacted and precautionary measures taken.

There are no safety concerns for other students and staff. Calhoun County Schools appreciates your patience while we continue to gather additional facts, according to Calhoun Scnools.

State Police are investigating the incident.

Officially, Calhoun Schools said, "Upon further investigation, the WV State Health Department and Minnie Hamilton have recommended Calhoun County Schools that no one is to enter or exit Pleasant Hill Elementary School or Calhoun Middle High School until further notice.

"At this time, this is a precautionary measure while the appropriate agencies conduct their investigations. All after-school activities have been canceled for the County this evening. We will continue to update as we get more information. Thank you for your continued patience and support," a press release said.

Parents may pick up their children at their discretion.