CDPH in the News
The rise in Sacramento County STDs and the condom dilemma
Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in California for the second year in a row. A California Department of Public Health report shows cases are increasing at a faster pace than in the rest of the country. I spoke with Staci Syas, Sacramento County’s STD/HIV program manager for the Department of Health and Human Services about the challenges that public health experts face when it comes to STDs.
"Syphilis was actually an STD that in the late 90’s the public health community thought we could actually eradicate," Syas said. Since 2014, Syphilis increased by 9 percent nationally but in California it rose by 29 percent. Gonorrhea jumped 20 percent in the state and Chlamydia is at its highest level since reporting was mandated in 1990. Especially concerning are stats on young women, ages 15 to 24, accounting for 63 percent of Chlamydia cases and 51 percent of Gonorrhea.
Cheri Greven at Planned Parenthood says, "California received a report in August that says teen pregnancy is down 55 percent since 2000, which is a huge deal, but what we’re finding is misinformation of (patients who) think they’re on the pill and protected." In other words, people are using birth control to avoid pregnancy but not wearing condoms to avoid STDs.
Cases of dog bites on the rise in California
The vast majority of animal bites in the United States are inflicted by dogs, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). California has specifically seen an increase in dog-bites especially during the past 11 years.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) compiles data every year based upon dealing with the number of Emergency department treat and release visits due to dog-bites. From the six-year span of 2005 to 2010 the California statewide number saw a total of 181,618 people visit the Emergency department, but in just the past five years from 2011 to 2015 the total is 187,448. From data received in 2011, Pit bull terrier’s (29 percent), German Shepherd or Shepherd mixes (15 percent) and Chihuahuas (11 percent) were the three breeds most frequently reported in bite incidents, according to the report.
Can Facebook Improve Longevity? Moderate Use Of Social Media Network May Lead To Longer Life, Study Finds
According to a new study, moderate use of Facebook can improve longevity. Yes, as bizarre as it may sound, science how now shown that a certain amount of Facebook may actually lead to a longer life. This particular Facebook study, which was conducted by a team of researchers led by William Hobbs and James Fowler at the University of California-San Diego, was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). As Ashley Welch of CBS News reports, the study looked at 12 million California-based Facebook users, and their records were then juxtaposed with California Department of Public Health vital records.
Among the selected Facebook users, the aspects that were studied included their number of friends, as well as other typical Facebook functions, such as the frequency of status updates, photos posted, friend requests, timeline postings, sent and received messages, etc. As also reported by Welch, it was found that Facebook users were approximately 12 percent less likely to die in a given year.
When it comes to the real world, the study further explains that previous research has shown that those who have many friends and strong social bonds to their community usually live longer. Right up until now, there has been a question as to whether or not this translates to the online world.
Those Halloween devil eyes could be ‘sight-threatening’E
from Fresno Bee
Anyone planning to wear colored contact lenses on Halloween should heed a warning from eye-care professionals: Decorative contacts that have not been properly fitted could damage your eyes. Wearing any kind of contact lens requires proper fitting. Lenses that are too loose or too tight can cause damage by rubbing against the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye.
"The risks include infection, ulcers, decreased vision, cuts or scratches to the surface of the eye, itchiness or redness. If these conditions are left untreated, the injuries can progress rapidly. In severe cases, blindness and eye loss can occur," warns Dr. Karen Smith, California’s public health officer.
Decorative contact lenses often are sold at beauty supply and novelty stores, the California Department of Public Health said. But the sale of contact lenses without a prescription is illegal. Only licensed optometrists and ophthalmologists can prescribe contact lenses and registered opticians and optical shops can fill the prescriptions.
Columbia doesn’t meet California group’s standard for drinking water
from The Missourian
If you don’t filter your drinking water, you might want to give it some serious thought. Columbia’s [Missouri] drinking water contains 1.3 parts per billion of chromium-6 and 0.0499 parts per million of trihalomethane, both associated with cancer. Chromium-6 and chlorine-chloramine disinfection cycles have been making news lately due to a report by the Environmental Working Group, which called for stricter chromium-6 regulations, and a widely circulated September Facebook post by environmental activist Erin Brockovich that named Columbia as a city with dangerously high levels of trihalomethane because of its use of chlorine for disinfecting drinking water.
Columbia’s water tested at 1.3 parts per billion, placing the city above many major metropolitan areas across the U.S., including Omaha, Nebraska, Los Angeles, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., New York, Denver and Dallas to name a few. Kansas City’s Chromium 6 level at 2.5 parts per billion is above Columbia’s, but St. Louis falls below. California Department of Public Health scientists believe the limit for chromium-6 alone should be 0.02 parts per billion, or 50 times less than what the Environmental Protection Agency deems safe.