CDPH Urges New Tuberculosis Screening Recommendations

Source: California Department of Public Health  |  2016-09-08

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith has urged health care providers to adopt new recommendations recently announced by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force calling for adults 18 years of age or older who are at increased risk of tuberculosis (TB) to be screened for the disease.

Those considered to be at increased risk of TB include individuals born in countries with elevated rates of the disease and individuals who live in settings with a large number of people, like group homes or homeless shelters.

“I urge health care providers in the state to adopt these new screening recommendations as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Smith. “Local health departments should work with providers to ensure that today’s new recommendations are implemented. Today’s recommendations, if universally adopted, can help us eliminate TB in California in the next few decades.”

Evidence shows that screening of individuals at increased risk for TB is an effective method for preventing the development of TB disease.

TB is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs but can also attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. It can be spread through the air from one person to another by coughing, sneezing or speaking.

When TB bacteria actively grow in people and cause symptoms, the condition is known as TB disease and can be deadly. People with TB disease can infect others. The bacteria can also be inactive, causing no symptoms and held in check by the immune system. This condition is known as latent TB.

Elimination of TB in California is possible by detecting and treating latent TB infection before it progresses to infectious TB disease.

In California, an estimated 2.4 million people have latent TB infection. In 2015, 2,137 people were diagnosed with TB disease in the state.

Health care providers can consult with their local health departments to develop specific plans for screening their patient populations. The CDPH Tuberculosis Control Branch provides technical assistance to local health departments and health plans to implement tuberculosis prevention efforts.

CDPH has developed the California Risk Assessment Screening Tool to help health care providers to quickly identify people at risk for developing the disease and also a fact sheet that offers suggested courses of treatment.

For more information on TB, please visit www.cdph.ca.gov.

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Send Your Children Back to School Protected from Serious Disease

Source: California Department of Public Health  |  2016-08-18

With the arrival of back-to-school season, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges parents and guardians to ensure their children are current on vaccines. Immunizations protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.

“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from serious diseases,” said Dr. Karen Smith, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “If you haven’t done so already, check with your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs. Vaccinations are the best way to ensure that students are protected against serious and preventable diseases, including measles.”

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for contracting diseases and can also spread diseases to other people, including students in their classrooms and both children and adults within their communities. Babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions are especially susceptible.

California law requires students to receive certain immunizations in order to attend public and private elementary and secondary schools as well as licensed child care centers. Schools and licensed child care centers are required to enforce immunization requirements, maintain immunization records of all children enrolled, and report student immunization status to CDPH.

Talk to your child’s doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended for them before going back to school.

Visit www.ShotsforSchool.org for more information on immunization laws and required vaccinations.

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Help Us Understand Community Health Needs and Concerns

Source: Scott Sandow, County of Placer  |  2016-08-18

Placer County is conducting a survey to better understand the health issues that are most important to our community members and we need your help.

The survey can be found here or on the Be Well Placer - Community Dashboard. It takes just five minutes to complete and will provide invaluable feedback to inform decisions about public health services and programs.

“The more we know about what you need to be healthy, the better we’ll be able to target services and programs to help,” said Dr. Robert Oldham, Placer County Health Officer.

The survey addresses topics such as quality of life, health care, economic opportunity, safety, social support, stress, chronic health issues and risky behaviors. The information gathered from the survey will be included in a comprehensive community health assessment and improvement plan that is currently underway.

For more information, please contact Sarah Hagen at 530-889-7152 or shagen@placer.ca.gov.

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Chapa-De Indian Health to Host Free Healthy Family Fun Day at Auburn Clinic

Source: Miranda Marsalla, Chapa-De Indian Health  |  2016-08-18

WHAT: Chapa-De Indian Health will host a FREE Healthy Family Fun Day at its Auburn Clinic this Saturday, August 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This free event is open to the entire community and will offer:

  • Free Dental Screenings for Children and Adults (satisfying the required dental screenings for kindergarten aged children)
  • Free Fluoride Varnish Treatment for Children
  • Free Diabetes Risk Assessments & A1C Testing
  • Free Vision and Hearing Screenings
  • Free Blood Pressure Checks
  • Free Hemoglobin, Height and Weight Checks for Children (this fulfills information needed to apply for WIC)

Additionally, guests are invited to enjoy clinic tours, kids’ activities, face painting, snacks and theatrical performances while learning about the amazing health services available at Chapa-De.

For more information about Healthy Family Fun Day, please visit: http://chapa-de.org/auburn-events/family-fun-day/.

WHEN: Saturday, August 20 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Chapa-De Indian Health
11670 Atwood Road
Auburn, CA 95603

CONTACT: Doug Elmets - (916) 206-8662

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CDPH Reports Record-Low Birth Rates Among Adolescents

Source: California Department of Public Health  |  2016-08-11

The birth rate among adolescents decreased among all racial and ethnic groups between 2000 and 2014.

California’s birth rate among adolescents has continued to decline to record-low levels, reports California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. The state’s 2014 numbers indicate a record low of 20.8 births per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19. Those numbers reflect a 10 percent decline from 2013 and a 55 percent decline from the 2000 rate of 46.7.

“California’s continued success in reducing births among adolescents is an excellent example of public health at work,” said Dr. Smith. “We can have a positive influence on the lives of young people when we empower them with knowledge, tools and resources to make healthy choices.”

The birth rate among adolescents decreased among all racial and ethnic groups between 2000 and 2014. During this time, the birth rate dropped from 77.3 to 31.3 (births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19) among Hispanics, 59.1 to 24.6 among African Americans, 22.3 to 8.4 among Whites and 15.0 to 3.7 among Asians.

Despite these declining birth rates, racial disparities persist in adolescent childbearing in California. African American and Hispanic adolescents are three to four times as likely to give birth as White females. In addition, the birth rate among adolescents varies considerably across counties, from a low of 7.0 in Marin County to a high of 45.1 in Kern County.

California has a number of programs aimed at preventing adolescent pregnancy and improving pregnancy outcomes among young women. CDPH funds the Information and Education Program, the Personal Responsibility Education Program authorized through the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and the Adolescent Family Life Program for expectant and parenting adolescents. In addition, the state provides no-cost family planning services to eligible men and women, including adolescents, through the Family PACT Program.

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CDPH Confirms First Human West Nile Virus Death of 2016

Source: California Department of Public Health  |  2016-08-11

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced the first confirmed death in California due to West Nile virus (WNV). The deceased person was a senior citizen in Sacramento County.

“West Nile virus can cause a deadly infection in humans, and the elderly are particularly susceptible, as this unfortunate fatality illustrates,” said Dr. Smith. “West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so I urge Californians to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites.”

CDPH has reported ten human cases of WNV from eight California counties this year. In addition, 764 dead birds from 26 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2016 and 1,487 mosquito samples from 30 counties have also tested positive for WNV this year.

The number of WNV positive dead birds and mosquito samples exceeds the numbers at this same time last year and are above the state’s most recent five-year average.

West Nile virus is influenced by many factors, including climate, the number and types of birds and mosquitoes in an area and the level of WNV immunity in birds. West Nile is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals – less than 1 percent – can develop serious neurologic illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis.

People 50 years of age and older and individuals with diabetes or hypertension have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications.

CDPH recommends that individuals protect against mosquito bites and WNV by practicing the “Three Ds”:

  1. DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. Insect repellents should not be used on children under two months of age.

  2. DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes usually bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

  3. DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, by emptying flower pots, old car tires, buckets, and other containers. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, please contact your local mosquito and vector control agency.

California’s West Nile virus website includes the latest information on WNV activity in the state. Californians are encouraged to report dead birds on the website or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473).

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CDPH Announces Intent to Award $13 Million in Grants to California Reducing Disparities Pilot Projects

Source California Department of Public Health  |  2016-07-28

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith announced today the intent to award nearly $13 million in grants to help reduce mental health disparities in communities that have traditionally been underserved.

The funding will be distributed to 11 pilot projects statewide that provide mental health services to five target populations, including African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ), and Native American communities. The grant monies, which will be distributed over the course of five and a half years, are part of CDPH’s California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP). This will be the third release of CRDP grant funds. In all, CDPH will award $60 million to 41 contractors and grantees between 2016 and 2022.

“The California Reducing Disparities Project recognizes that many of the promising mental health services in our most diverse communities need additional support in order to improve their effectiveness,” said Dr. Smith. “CDPH is committed to funding organizations that are doing meaningful work in their communities to reduce mental health disparities but are not often considered for large grants.”

Disparities in mental health services are found among all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities and expressions. Even though they make up the majority of the state’s population, communities of color are less likely to receive quality mental health care services than their Caucasian peers. Members of the LGBTQ community frequently report that mental health providers do not know how to address sexual orientation and gender identity concerns, or overemphasize these issues in treatment, even if it is not the reason the person sought care.

The primary goal of the CRDP grants is to invest in new and existing community programs that have shown promise in reducing mental health disparities in these underserved communities. The grants are awarded to small organizations that have annual budgets of less than $500,000 and need organizational support in order to meet the Project’s implementation and evaluation requirements. Each organization receives six months of technical support to develop a scope of work, detailed five-year budget, and an evaluation plan.

The CRDP is funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) that was passed in November 2004. This act imposes a one percent income tax on personal income that exceeds $1 million.

The 11 awardees receiving grants totaling $1,180,000 in funding for include:

African American:

  1. California Black Women’s Health Project – Los Angeles County
  2. Healthy Heritage Movement – Riverside County
  3. Whole Systems Learning – Riverside County

Asian and Pacific Islander *:

  1. Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County – Butte County
  2. Muslim American Society:  Social Services Foundation – Sacramento County

Latino:

  1. Humanidad Therapy and Education Services – Sonoma County
  2. Integral Community Solutions Institute – Fresno County
  3. Latino Service Providers – Sonoma County

LGBTQ:

  1. Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield – Kern County
  2. Gender Health Center – Sacramento County
  3. San Joaquin Pride Center – San Joaquin County

* Only two applications were submitted, and these organizations met or exceeded the minimum application requirements.

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