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CDPH in the News August, 2017

CDPH in the News

California health officials battle state’s largest hepatitis A outbreak in 2 decades

from Healio Infectious Disease News

The California Department of Public Health is working with local health officials in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties to contain the state’s largest hepatitis A outbreak in 2 decades. As of July 18, officials identified 251 cases and five deaths in San Diego, and 27 cases in Santa Cruz since the outbreak began in November, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency reported that 69% of cases in the county required hospitalization.

California Valley Fever Cases Highest On Record

from Kaiser Health News

The number of Valley Fever cases in California rose to a record level in 2016, with 5,372 reported – a jump of 71 percent from the previous year. Historically, about three-quarters of cases have been in the state’s heavily agricultural San Joaquin Valley. The fungal infection, known as coccidioidomycosis, or “cocci,” is most common in the southern portion of the Valley and along the Central Coast of California. State health officials say they’re not sure what caused the recent increase, the largest since 2011, but “climatic and environmental factors” could have increased the risk of exposure to the airborne spores that cause the disease, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Study: Insurance Status Affects Cancer Outcomes

from Los Angeles Sentinal

Results from a recent study by the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, revealed that health insurance type at diagnosis greatly impacts cancer outcomes especially in adolescent and young adult patients. Published in the July 10, 2017 issue of Cancer Causes Control, researchers examined joint associations between sociodemographic factors – race/ethnicity, neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES), and health insurance – and cancer survival for the most frequent cancers among AYAs. The research was supported by the California Department of Public Health as part of the statewide cancer reporting program mandated by California Health and Safety Code Section 103885 and the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health

Record number of students vaccinated under stricter state law

from Santa Clarita Valley Signal

A record number of students in seventh grade and kindergarten were vaccinated during the 2016-17 school year, according to two executive summary reports from the California Department of Public Health. According to the reports, immunizations increased to 98.4 percent for seventh grade students and increased to 95.6 percent for kindergarten students in 2016-17. The increase in immunizations could be attributed to the state’s stricter vaccination law that went into effect July 1, 2016. Senate Bill 277 ended the exemption of vaccinations based on personal beliefs. Under the law, only students enrolled in independent study programs or homeschooled programs are not required to be vaccinated. Students can also still receive exemptions due to medical reasons.

Want To Know Your Hospital’s C-Section Rate? Yelp Is On The Way.

from California Healthline

You might check Yelp reviews before deciding where to go to dinner, or which plumber to hire. Now you can use the website to decide where to have a baby. San Francisco-based Yelp is now adding clinical data on cesarean sections, episiotomies and breastfeeding rates to consumer reviews of California hospitals, so women can make better-informed decisions about where they deliver. Yelp’s maternity data is drawn from self-reported information from California hospitals, the California Department of Public Health and the state’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

How you can blast your ashes into space for just £9,500 or book yourself a cemetery plot on the MOON

from The Sun (UK)

A FUNERAL director has come up with an out-of-this-world plan for a final send off – blasting your ashes into space for nearly £10,000. People who choose a space funeral can either have a gram of cremated remains launched to the moon, or a small amount sent into a low-Earth orbit. The ashes will then eventually make their way back into the atmosphere, where they burn up completely. Celestis became the first to get permission from the California Department of Public Health to send cremated remains to space on the first privately funded lunar mission led by Moon Express.

CDPH in the News, July 2017

CDPH in the News

California assisted suicide patients are mostly white, well-educated

from Sacramento Bee

California residents choosing legal assisted suicide are disproportionately white and well-educated, new figures show. Since California’s End of Life Option Act went into effect on June 9, 2016, hundreds of terminally ill patients have weighed the decision to end their own lives. In 2016, 111 individuals died from ingesting aid-in-dying drugs, according to the California Department of Public Health. Ninety more had been prescribed drugs but ultimately did not take them, while a total of 258 individuals had begun the end-of-life option process.
Of the 111 individuals, 87 percent were at least 60 years old and 44 percent relied solely on Medicare for health insurance. Participants were also overwhelmingly – 89 percent – white. Additionally, 58 percent had attained an associate degree or higher level of education. Highly educated whites tend to have higher household incomes.

County health program a breath of fresh air for students with asthma

from Daily Press

In an effort to help students dealing with asthma, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors recently approved funds for a special health-based program. The board approved funding for the county program that will include the “Breathmobile,” considered to be an asthma clinic on wheels that will serve students at 14 High Desert schools, 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood reported.Approximately 313,000 children and adults in the county were diagnosed with asthma in 2014, with nearly 73,000 children visiting the doctor and another 10,000 hospitalized, according to California Breathing, a division of the California Department of Public Health’’s Environmental Health Investigations Branch. Many medical experts believe the reasons for the high asthma numbers in the county stem from the high poverty rate, adults not properly administering medications, lack of medical insurance and pollution.

California health officials battle state’s largest hepatitis A outbreak in 2 decades

from Healio Infectious Disease News

The California Department of Public Health is working with local health officials in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties to contain the state’s largest hepatitis A outbreak in 2 decades. As of July 18, officials identified 251 cases and five deaths in San Diego, and 27 cases in Santa Cruz since the outbreak began in November, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency reported that 69% of cases in the county required hospitalization. A CDPH representative told Infectious Disease News that the overall case count is larger than that of all other hepatitis A outbreaks in California combined over the past 20 years. There were seven hepatitis A outbreaks in the state from 1998 to 2015, totaling 224 cases and one death.

Valley Fever cases spiked statewide last year

from 23 ABC News Bakersfield

There were more Valley Fever cases in California for 2016 compared to 2015, according to the California Department of Public Health. The CDPH said Thursday that 5,372 new cases of Valley Fever appeared last year. That is about 13.7 cases reported per 100,000 people.
Valley Fever, otherwise known as coccidioidmycosis or cocci, is a fungal infection. In California, it predominantly affects counties in the Southern Central Valley and Central Coast. People become infected when they inhale spores in certain soils. Last year’s statewide spike was the highest number of reported cases since 2011. More than 2,200 cases in 2016 were reported in Kern County, according to the CDPH.

How public health is addressing Humboldt County’s drug problem

from Times Standard News

It’s no secret that Humboldt County has a drug problem. The 2017 California Department of Public Health and California Conference of Local Health Officers County Health Status Profile shows that county drug related or induced death rates have more than doubled since the 1999 County Health Status Profile.
DHHS senior program manager Sue Grenfell administers the department’s alcohol and other drugs program. She said the county offers a substance abuse treatment program and outpatient mental health programs to fight overdose deaths.
“We try to help them with whatever their goals are, either reducing or eliminating their substance abuse,” Grenfell said. The two outpatient substance abuse programs DHHS runs are Healthy Moms, which helps pregnant mothers or mothers with young kids address their substance abuse issues, and Humboldt County Programs for Recovery, she said.

Napa LGBTQ program prepares for Upvalley expansion

from Napa Valley Register

Napa County’s Upvalley communities are about to have a new presence dedicated to working with LGBTQ youth. Thanks to a $1 million state grant, Napa’s LGBTQ Connection will be expanding its services so that it can support youth in Upvalley and Sonoma Valley in addition to Napa and Santa Rosa. LGBTQ Connection was awarded the grant from the California Department of Public Health last year to expand mental health-related services over the next five years. The money started flowing in this past March.

Dialysis industry needs to be reformed: Guest commentary

from San Bernadino County Sun

Three days a week a machine in a dialysis clinic does what my kidneys can no longer do – clean my blood so my body doesn’t poison itself from the inside out. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about the dialysis industry and its problems, and how much it needs to be reformed. As a former social worker, I know patients must speak out if we’re going to change conditions in our clinics.
The clinic staff spends most of their time scrambling to hook patients up to equipment and get them out the door as quickly as possible. A single dialysis worker can be left to monitor 10 or more patients at the same time. With so many patients in their charge, they can’t safely help patients use the restroom, much less monitor falling blood pressure, prevent fainting or other complications.
That has to change. Legislation moving through the California Assembly now would improve the safety of dialysis clinics and improve care for the patients like me who count on them for life-saving treatment. The legislation also requires 45 minutes between patients to allow more time for them to recover and for staff to sanitize the equipment. Federal regulators have warned the California Department of Public Health that allowing too little time between patients creates a risk of “cross contamination” as blood from dialysis patient after patient circulates through the same filtering machine.

DO NOT PUBLISH, or Sometimes, open data/open access not ideal

A recent essay in Science makes the case that, at least when writing up research on endangered species, complete transparency could be harmful. The prolific increase in online publishing, whether it be articles, reports, or data, creates significant problems in this field, namely:

  1. Unrestricted access to species location information is facilitating a surge in wildlife poaching, with many species at risk. Poaching has been documented in species within months of their taxonomic description in journals.
  2. Unrestricted access to location data and habitat descriptions can disrupt the often delicate relationships between scientists and landowners. Trespassing has occurred when location data is published.
  3. Unrestricted access to species information has the potential to accelerate habitat destruction and create other negative disturbances. The digital age has brought a desire among many nature enthusiasts to observe, photograph, and sometimes remove animals and plants.

Some fields such as paleontology and archaeology have long maintained restrictions on the publication of site locations and promoted government policies and regulations to limit collection and trade in fossils, artefacts, and culturally sensitive and/or scientifically important material. Organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service do not disclose geospatial data in order to protect research sites. Other solutions include modification of research permits so that endangered species locations are not automatically uploaded into wildlife databases and masking such records on private land, as presently occurs in some states in the United States.

Is this relevant to any public health research? Other than personally identifiable information, what types of health data should not be made widely available?

CDPH in the News, June 2017

CDPH in the News

Judge Trashes California’s $567,000 Medical Waste Fine

from Courthouse News

A federal judge Tuesday found that it a simple call that the California Department of Public Health unlawfully fined a medical-waste disposal company $567,000 for disposing of biohazardous materials out of state.
“The case presents a clear violation of the extraterritorial doctrine that requires little analysis,” U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill wrote, in granting Daniels Sharpsmart an injunction against California Department of Public Health Director Karen Smith. O’Neill found the DPH Medical Waste Management Program violated the Commerce Clause when it threatened Daniels Sharpsmart with penalties if it continued disposing of wastes that originated in California by any method not authorized under California law.

Diner claims restaurant served a dead frog in her salad

from New York Post

A woman from San Dimas, Calif., tells Fox News she was “beyond grossed out” after finding a dead frog in a salad she ordered from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. Shawna Cepeda and her family were dining at the BJ’s in West Covina when she claims she noticed something off about her salad – but only after she took several bites and tasted something “a little sour,” reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The case has also been referred to the California Department of Public Health, an investigator for the Los Angeles Department of Public Health confirmed to the San Gabriel Valley Times.

Baby chicks may be cute, but they can make you sick

from Fresno Bee

Public health officials say that as more people keep backyard flocks of chickens, they are seeing more outbreaks of Salmonella bacteria infections linked to the feathery pets. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says between January and May, 372 people in 47 states became ill from infection, with several Salmonella strains that have been linked to contact with live poultry. In California, 21 people in 15 counties, including in the central San Joaquin Valley, have become ill. Health officials with the California Department of Public Health said live poultry, especially baby chicks and ducklings, may have Salmonella in their feces and on their feathers, feet and beaks – even when they appear healthy and clean. The contamination can get on hands, shoes and clothing. Salmonella also can be on cages, coops, feed and water dishes, bedding, plants, and soil.

Stockton SJ, fire district sue drug companies over opioid crisis

from Recordnet

The city, county and a local fire district recently sued several major pharmaceutical companies and a medical distribution firm, charging them with damaging the local economy by promoting the use of opioid painkillers they knew to be dangerous and extremely addictive. The 52-page complaint was filed in Superior Court late last month by two private law firms on behalf of Stockton, San Joaquin County and the Montezuma Fire Protection District, which serves unincorporated portions of southeast Stockton. Data from the California Department of Public Health is startling. According to the CDPH, there were slightly more than 600,000 opioid prescriptions in San Joaquin County in 2015. The county has about 700,000 residents. That same year, there were 45 deaths, 106 emergency-room visits and 114 overdose hospitalizations in the county attributable to opioids, according to the CDPH. Statewide, the data says there were more than 24 million opioid prescriptions and nearly 2,000 overdose deaths in California.

Promise Breakers: Introduction to a Public Health Scandal

from Huffington Post

A Capital & Main investigation has confirmed five cases of lead poisoning that were linked to Sacramento’s James Mangan Rifle and Pistol Range. As we reported last December, the 54-year-old gun range was padlocked in January 2015, after tests showed toxic levels of lead dust in nearly every corner of the building. The recent indictments of state officials in Michigan for involuntary manslaughter related to the lead contamination of the city of Flint’s water supply shows what can happen when there is resolve across the political spectrum to hold officials accountable for environmental crimes. But what happens when the spotlight is dimmer – or, in the case of Sacramento, nonexistent?
Documents obtained as part of our investigation show that officials in California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) knew as far back as 2002 that workers at the range had levels of lead in their blood so high they could lead to organ shutdown and death. A federal directive on lead hazards in the workplace says that such extreme cases are “high-gravity, serious” and “must be handled by inspection.” Because hazards inside the range required millions of dollars in fixes to bring it up to safe federal standards, an inspection would have almost certainly led to the facility’s permanent closure. Instead of referring the case for inspection, CDPH decided to trust city assurances that Sacramento would do better.

CDPH in the News May, 2017

CDPH in the News

Celebrity-fueled FNV campaign expands to include access to affordable, fresh produce

from Food Navigator

The FNV campaign, which the Partnership for a Healthier America launched in 2015, initially concentrated on urban and rural areas with limited fresh produce consumption, such as Fresno, Calif., and Hampton Roads, Va., but it quickly spread nationwide and now is expanding at the state level. By using celebrities in bright, bold and quirky ads that show children that the people they admire eat fruits and vegetables not just because they have to, but because they want to helped the FNV campaign significantly increased produce consumption, according to PHA. It reports that research it conducted in pilot markets shows seven out of 10 survey respondents say they ate more fruits and vegetables after seeing or hearing about the campaign, and grocery retailers that brought the campaign in-store saw a measurable rise in produce sales. Building on this initial success, FNV now is expanding through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education initiatives at the state level, PHA announced at its annual Summit in Washington, DC, earlier this month. Through public-private partnerships with the California Department of Public Health, the University of Georgia SNAP-Ed and the Colorado Department of Human Services, the FNV campaign will focus on reaching low-income consumers in communities in these states with limited access to affordable and diverse produce.

Botulism sickens 10, kills 1 gas station nacho diner

from boing boing

Evidently, many more people eat gas station nachos than I had previously considered possible. A Sacramento, California area botulism outbreak has been traced back to folks who enjoyed the tasty treat at a local refueling station.
Gas station nacho cheese that sickened 10 people and killed one of them was contaminated with botulinum toxin, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) confirmed Monday. “The nacho cheese sauce was removed from sale on May 5. (The California Department of Public Health) believes there is no continuing risk to the public,” the agency said in a statement.

Los Angeles company recalls deer-antler tea after 2 get sick

from KNTV

The California Department of Public Health says a Los Angeles company is recalling tea made from deer antler after two people who drank it got sick. State health officials said Monday that the tea may be contaminated with botulism, and they are investigating the two Orange County residents who became ill. They say the company, U.S. Deer Antlers Exports and Imports Inc., sold the tea to acupuncturists and others in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
The tea is sold in 6-inch by 4-inch plastic packaging with Korean language text and drawings of deer on it.

UC Davis Study Utilizes Safety Net Connect’s eConsult System to Evaluate the Role of an Integrated Approach to Improving Access to Tobacco Cessation Services for Underserved LA Residents

from SYS-CON Media

Safety Net Connect (SNC), a leading provider of innovative healthcare technology for organizations assisting underserved populations, is pleased to announce that its electronic consultation “eConsult” system used by Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS) is engaged in a two-year-long University of California, Davis (UC Davis) study to measure the benefits of an integrative approach to tobacco cessation, in partnership with California Smokers’ Helpline (Helpline), a free, evidence-based smoking cessation program funded by the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and First 5 California.
This collaborative project, funded through a Community Practice-Based Research Planning Award from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) of California, was launched with the aim of creating and fostering long-term sustainable partnerships to conduct cost-effective, high quality tobacco cessation programs that are replicable across clinics throughout California. Several months into the project, SNC’s eConsult technology has already demonstrated a positive change in the delivery of tobacco cessation services for underserved populations, while increasing access to evidence-based tobacco treatment.

Pot brownies could lose some punch under proposed California rules

from Sacramento Bee

The ubiquitous billboards and product labels for Korova Edibles, an Oakland marijuana confections manufacturer, feature a three-eyed cow and a mooing boast: “Unrivaled potency.” Korova’s “20 dose” medical cannabis Black Bar chocolates are supercharged with 1,000 milligrams of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, and the company’s new THC Blondie – a treat “packed with caramel chunks” and “covered in crushed pretzels” – has 10 50-milligram doses with a total punch of 500 milligrams.
Now state Department of Public Health potency limit recommendations for medical marijuana edibles threaten to upset Korova’s marketing strategy and could force the company to dramatically cut THC levels in its chocolates, cookies, brownies and pot-infused popcorn sold through more than 750 marijuana dispensaries and delivery services in California.

Workshop on radiological, “dirty bomb” risks held in California

from Homeland Preparedness News

The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), in conjunction with the California Department of Public Health and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, recently held a radiological security workshop May 2-3 to discuss radiological materials and ways to reduce the risks they pose. The workshop’s 60 participants discussed the high number of radiological sources found in the state as well as risk mitigation. Each presentation sought to highlight steps that can be taken to secure radiological sources and how to replace them with alternative technologies when appropriate.

CDPH in the News April, 2017

CDPH in the News

Vaccination Rates for California Kindergarteners Are Higher Than Ever After New Law

from KQED

Vaccination rates hit an all-time high for California kindergartners, the California Department of Public Health said Wednesday as it announced its first findings since a new law ended the era of the “personal belief exemption” that allowed thousands of parents to choose not to vaccinate their children who attend public and private schools. The percentage of kindergartners who received all required vaccines rose to 95.6 percent in 2016-17, up from the 92.8 percent rate in 2015-16. This is the highest reported rate for the current set of immunization requirements, which began in the 2001-02 school year, the state said.

Report Finds Dangerous Amount of Lead Found in Children in the Valley

from ABC 30

Peeling paint in aging homes, imported ceramics, even contaminated soil– all have the potential to cause lead poisoning. According to the California Department of Public Health– some Valley kids are exposed to dangerous amounts of lead; exposure that could harm a child’s nervous system and impair brain development. “It is a concern that should not be overlooked and it is a concern in our community and in others. We have a lot of housing that was built prior to 1978 that have lead based paint in there, and that is exposure that we want to mitigate,” said David Pomaville, Fresno County Public Health Director.
The report found that nearly 14-percent of children living in and around Downtown Fresno tested extraordinary high for lead– eight more Fresno County communities made the list. Local experts say those numbers are from 2012 and current data shows a decrease in lead exposure.

UC Irvine Medical Center Defends Its Handling Of MRSA Outbreak Infecting 10 Infants

from CBS Los Angeles

UC Irvine Medical Center on Thursday defended how it handled an outbreak of the dangerous superbug that infected 10 infants in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. The newborns tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA between August and March. But the babies were successfully treated, and the parents were notified, hospital spokesman John Murray said.
According to Marian Hollingsworth, a member of the state’s Healthcare Associated Infection Advisory Committee, she filed a complaint with the California Department of Public Health in August. She said she was alarmed that neither the hospital nor county health officials alerted the public immediately.

How will the cigarette tax hike affect the Sacramento region?

from ABC 10

Smokers will soon have to shell out an extra $2 when buying cigarettes. A $2 cigarette tax hike goes into effect April 1st, months after being approved by voters. The tax is estimated to bring in $1 billion to $1.4 billion in revenue, most of which will be allocated to increase funding for the Medi-Cal health care program for low income residents, as well as tobacco prevention programs and tobacco-related disease research among other things. The $2.87 tax will place California in the nation’s top ten cigarette tax rate.
Yolo and Placer Counties have the lowest number of smokers in the state. Yolo County had a 9.4 percent smoking prevalence among adults between 2012 and 2014, the third-lowest in California, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Placer County had a 9.8 percent smoking prevalence, the fourth-lowest in the state.

Humboldt County Has California’s Highest Rates of Gun Deaths, Suicides and Fatal Car Crashes

from Lost Coast Outpost

Humboldt County is a dangerous place to be, and a big part of the problem is us. That has to be one of the key takeaways from the latest annual County Health Status Profiles report from the California Department of Public Health.
Granted, we’re no longer the most dangerous county in the state, as we were back in 2010. Nor are we the second most dangerous, as we were in 2011. No, this year we wound up in the same position as last year: sixth among California’s 58 counties on the list of where you’re most likely to buy the farm. But what’s even more alarming is how Humboldt County residents seem more than willing to meet the Grim Reaper halfway, often cashing in our chips not through natural causes but with our own reckless behavior.
Here’s what we mean: Among counties with reliable data, Humboldt County has the highest rates of death from firearms, car crashes and suicides, and we’re second-highest in how frequently we die from drugs, chronic liver disease and unintentional injuries.

JAMAevidence: New evidence resource from the library

The UCB Library recently purchased access to JAMAevidence.

JAMAevidence is a resource of evidence-based tools and more, including Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature. This online guide includes Education Guide slide sets, audio summaries, calculators, and critical appraisal and information cycle worksheets – these are not included in the print version.

The Users’ Guides 29 chapters are under these headings:

  • The Foundations
  • Therapy
  • Harm (Observational Studies)
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Summarizing the Evidence
  • Moving From Evidence to Action


CDPH in the News, March 2017

CDPH in the News

Court Orders Release of Secretive California Cell-Phone Danger Docs

from Sputnik International

A California judge has ordered the state of California to make public the results of an investigation into the risks of cellphone use. The papers are believed to contain information about radiation warnings by the state’s Environmental Health Investigations branch. Joel Moskowitz PhD, a director at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Public Health requested the findings, which the state refused to provide. Determined, the director filed a lawsuit under the California Public Records Act. On Friday, a Superior Court judge ruled that the documents are public record, and therefore the public has a right to see them. He asserted that there is significant public interest in learning the risks, as well as how to counter them.

Why people with Lyme Disease feel there isn’t enough awareness

from ABC 10

On Friday, the Lyme Disease Advisory Committee Meeting (LDAC) held a presentation in Sacramento, along with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Gregory Hacker, a biologist with the CDPH, gave an update on ticks in the Folsom Lake area.
Dorothy Kupcha Leland was there to hear the results of Hacker’s study. She’s the author of ‘When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide.’ It’s everything she wishes she had known a decade ago, when her now 25-year-old daughter was first diagnosed. Leland said the presentation confirmed what she had always assumed, that there are far more Lyme-infected ticks in Northern California than people think. Her daughter was first diagnosed at just 14-years-old. Lyme Disease affects people of all ages, but are common in children and older adults. Those who spend time outdoors often are more exposed. Many experts, including Leland, say the number of cases are often underreported because the disease is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. Leland’s daughter was diagnosed within 9 months of her first symptoms, but she adds they were lucky. Many people go year’s without being diagnosed.

86 people diagnosed with Zika in San Diego

from The CW6

Since 2015, 86 people in the San Diego region have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, while roughly the same number are awaiting test results, according to statistics kept by county health officials. All but three were acquired while traveling, 31 cases to Mexico; nine to Nicaragua, according to the county of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency. The California Department of Public Health reported 524 Zika infections statewide as of March 17. Of those, 99 involve pregnant women, and five babies have been born with Zika-related birth defects.

Rare E. Coli Outbreak Linked To Soy-Based Nut Butter; Kids Mostly Affected

from CBS SFBayArea

An outbreak of a rare E. coli strain that may stem from a soy-based nut butter has made a dozen people ill across the United States, including four people in California, according to state health officials. “All four California patients reported eating I.M. Healthy brand Creamy SoyNut Butter in the week before becoming ill,” the California Department of Public Health announced in a statement Friday. The CDPH is now warning consumers not to eat I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or granola coated with SoyNut Butter due to a possible E. coli contamination.

Statewide survey shows rising popularity of e-cigarettes

from Moorpark Acorn

Stores in Ventura County sold fewer tobacco products overall and offered more fruits and vegetables last year than they had three years before. But sales of e-cigarettes have soared, a health survey released this month showed. California Department of Public Health’s 2016 Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community survey, which came out March 8, looked at the percentage of stores around the state that sold tobacco, alcohol, fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk and sugary soft drinks. Created by the health department’s tobacco control program, the survey of retailers was first conducted in 2013, so the new set of statistics gathered in the 2016 survey provides a view of how far retailers have come in offering healthier products and curtailing tobacco sales.

High lead poisoning rates found in California communities

from Cal Coast News

Though not typically associated with California communities, childhood lead poisoning is prevalent in several areas of the state, particularly Fresno County. At least 29 California communities have childhood lead poisoning rate that are at least as high as in Flint, Michigan, which recently came under the national spotlight because of its water crisis. According to blood testing data obtained from the California Department of Public Health, there is one zip code in Central Fresno where 13.6 percent of blood tests on children under six years old returned high for lead.
Fresno County has a total of nine zip codes in which high lead levels among children are at least as common as in Flint, according to the state data. High poverty rates and issues with substandard housing – both of which are problems in Fresno – are risk factors for lead exposure.

Sage Research Methods: An Essential Resource for Researchers

SRM logo

Sage Research Methods, recently purchased by UC Berkeley, is an essential online resource for anyone doing research or learning how to do research. With more than 800 books, reference works, and journal articles from SAGE’s research methods list, SAGE Research Methods provides information on writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing a research method, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up the findings.

Sage Research Methods will help you:

and more.

Highly recommended, try it!

CDPH in the News, February 2017

CDPH in the News

Thousands of California Workers Alerted to Elevated Lead Levels

from Newsweek

More than 6,000 California workers in munitions, manufacturing and other industries have elevated levels of lead in their blood that could cause serious health problems, according to a recent report from the state’s public health agency. The report, containing the results of tests conducted between 2012 and 2014, comes as the state’s workplace health and safety agency, Cal/OSHA, is considering a major update of its safety standards for workplace lead exposure for the first time in decades. The current standards are based on 35-year-old medical findings, which at the time did not recognize the dangers of even low-level exposure to lead. More recent science shows chronic, low-level lead exposure can cause lasting harm.

CA PrEP program delayed

from Bay Area Reporter

Problems with California’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program are leading to the delayed launch of a program that would help people statewide get access to PrEP. California Department of Public Health officials have said the trouble with ADAP, which is supposed to help thousands of people get the care they need to stay alive, started after the agency switched to new contractors last July. CDPH spokespeople have said the agency’s still trying to resolve the issues.
Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, director of state and local affairs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said some clients have reported being turned away by their pharmacies or even being dropped from ADAP because of the glitches.

What Researchers Found in California’s Marijuana

from ATTN:

Researchers in Northern California have delivered some unsettling news for marijuana users: It turns out, a sizeable amount of the pot sold in California’s medical marijuana dispensaries test positive for mold and bacteria that could be dangerous for patients with compromised immune systems. Fungi and bacteria – including Cryptococcus, Mucor and Aspergillus, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii – were detected in 20 of the marijuana samples. If inhaled, these pathogens “could lead to serious illness and even death” because inhaling a contaminated substance “provides a direct portal of entry deep into the lungs, where infection can easily take hold,” Joseph Tuscano, a researcher UC Davis, said in a statement.
For the time being, more research is needed in order to better inform patients and recreational users about the quality and safety of their weed. California’s Department of Public Health is actively developing statewide standards for cannabis testing, with the intention of implementing them before the state fully rolls out its recreational marijuana system in 2018.

Children’s Bureau of Southern California Awarded Nearly $1 Million to Address High Obesity Rates in Los Angeles, University Park, Jefferson Park, and West Adams

from prweb

Children’s Bureau was awarded $880,000 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with funding from the California Department of Public Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will support the Champions for Change – Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity among low-income Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education eligible populations by providing nutrition education, physical activity promotion, and working to create healthier environments for low-income individuals and families where they live, learn, work, play, pray, and shop.
Key efforts under the initiative include teaching fundamental skills such as cooking, reading food labels, shopping on a budget, growing fruits and vegetables, and introducing low-cost and fun ways to be physically active. In addition, champions in communities throughout the County will be identified to help improve access to healthier foods and increase opportunities to be physically active in a variety of settings, including early childcare centers, schools, faith-based organizations, corner stores, parks, worksites, and cities.

Advocate of Toxicants Policy Reform Reappointed to State Scientific Guidance Panel

from UC Riverside

Carl F. Cranor, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside and a longtime advocate of reforming policies for regulating exposure to toxic substances, has been reappointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel of the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program. Cranor was first appointed to the panel in 2012. The Senate Rules Committee approved his reappointment in January to a three-year term that ends Jan. 1, 2020.
The Scientific Guidance Panel plays a significant role in the California Biomonitoring Program, making recommendations about the program’s design and implementation – including the identification of chemicals that are a priority for monitoring in California – and providing scientific peer review. Five members are appointed by the governor, two by the speaker of the Assembly, and two by the Senate Rules Committee.
Established by Senate Bill 1379 in 2006, the California Biomonitoring Program is a collaborative effort of three departments in two state agencies: the California Department of Public Health in the Health and Human Services Agency, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Department of Toxic Substances Control in the California Environmental Protection Agency.

UC SHIP board looking to add surgery options for transgender students

from Daily Bruin

University of California representatives are working to include certain transgender surgeries in student health insurance coverage. Attendees at the UC Student Health Insurance Plan meeting Tuesday discussed voting to add breast augmentation surgery for male-to-female transgender students to the UC SHIP plan, said David DiTullio, an Executive Oversight Board graduate representative for the Student Health Advisory Committee. However, they tabled the vote and decided to collect more data about the feasibility of adding the surgery to UC SHIP coverage over the next year before making a final decision.
The UC SHIP staff hopes to implement the male-to-female top surgery benefit for the 2018-2019 school year but has not reached a decision, said Karina Keus, a SHAC and EOB undergraduate representative. UC Berkeley added the surgery to its plan this year, but no students have taken advantage of the top surgery yet… Keus said the Berkeley campus is not under the umbrella of the UC SHIP system; it receives insurance through Anthem. The benefit is temporary and might be discontinued at UC Berkeley if the California Department of Public Health does not approve it, Keus added.

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