CDPH in the News
Kern hospital employees least vaccinated in California
from Bakersfield Now
As we enter the peak of flu season, dozens of local residents will end up in hospitals for treatment. What they may not know is that many of the people treating them have not received a flu shot. Last year, Kern County had the lowest immunization rate among hospital employees in the state, with only 70 percent getting the flu shot.
According to the California Department of Public Health, last year at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital only 62 percent of employees got vaccinated, 65 percent at Kern Medical, 54 percent at Mercy Hospital, 52 percent at Mercy Southwest, and 78 percent at Adventist Health. In fact, the study shows only four hospitals in Kern County are meeting the state’s expectations of 81 percent immunized staff.
California flu deaths spike to 74 this season, 32 in 1 week
Thirty-two people died of the flu last week, and 74 have died since October, the California Department of Public Health said. The California Department of Public Health said the reported deaths reflected those who were younger than 65 years old. Currently, there are 60,000 confirmed cases of the flu nationwide. Videos included in story.
Syringe exchangers more likely to get treatment
from Eureka Times Standard
After 18 years as Humboldt County Public Health Officer, I worked in the Bay Area for six years. Returning to Humboldt in 2107, I visited Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR) in Eureka and was thrilled with this well-run program that started in my absence.
The issue with used syringes on the street pre-dates syringe exchange programs here. Syringe exchange programs have operated in California since the 1980s. A study comparing cities with and without syringe exchange programs found that people who inject drugs were 34 more likely to safely dispose of used syringes if they had access to needle exchange. HACHR follows the model of “needs-based” distribution recommended by the California Department of Public Health as the model most likely to reduce needle sharing with transmission of HIV and Hepatitis B and C without increasing unsafe syringe disposal.
Sheriff’s stations collect 6,813 pounds of old and unneeded medications
from VC Star
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced the annual results of its collection of unused and expired prescription medications for 2017. The agency collected 6,813 pounds over the course of the year, the highest annual total since it began collecting prescription drugs in 2013. It has collected 29,143 pounds in total over the past five years. Also presented in the article are some numbers on the state’s opioid problem from the California Department of Public Health and its Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard.
Marijuana use among pregnant teens has spiked in California
California already has the world’s largest pot economy and the state is preparing to legalize recreational sales on Jan. 1. But a new study about marijuana use by pregnant women suggests the pot boom is having an overlooked impact on public health. The California Department of Public Health has already started to warn pregnant women about the dangers of getting stoned. The department maintains a webpage called “Let’s Talk Cannabis,” which includes a section that says “if you use cannabis while you are pregnant or breastfeeding the growth and development of your baby’s brain can be harmed, and your baby is more likely to be born with a lower birth weight and to have health problems.”
New California law aims to reduce pool and spa drownings
from Orange County Register
A law that will go into effect Monday, Jan. 1 requiring an additional safety feature for newly constructed or remodeled pools and spas aims to reduce drownings – the leading cause of death among California toddlers. It further strengthens a 20-year-old regulation requiring new or remodeled pools to have at least one safety device, such as a fence, a cover or an alarm. Under the new law, new pools and spas must have at least two safety mechanisms.
Drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages one to four, claiming the lives of more than 160 such boys and girls in California from 2010 to 2014, according to the California Department of Public Health.