CDPH in the News, April 2015

CDPH in the News

Cedars-Sinai probing whether superbug infections are tied to scopes

From the LA Times.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said it’s investigating whether patients with superbug infections are linked to contaminated medical scopes, similar to a recent outbreak at UCLA.
The well-known Los Angeles hospital said it hasn’t determined whether the CRE infections it has found are tied to duodenoscopes, which were the source of exposure at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Hospital patients can become infected with CRE in a number of different ways or bring it with them into the hospital in some cases. Many hospitals have increased surveillance and testing of patients to better determine the source after the high-profile incidents.
CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, is highly resistant to antibiotics and can kill up to 50% of infected patients. In addition to receiving a report about Cedars, the California Department of Public Health said it had one reported CRE case at Goldstar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica.

Sacramento’s growing suicide problem

From the Sacramento Bee.

The suicide rate in the Sacramento region has increased about 25 percent since 2000, part of a nationwide trend, according to the latest figures from the California Department of Public Health. About 290 local residents killed themselves in 2013, up from 191 in 2000. The suicide rate per 100,000 residents rose from 10.6 to 13.2 during that time period. The last time local rates were that high was during the early 1990s. Suicide rates generally increase with age. A higher proportion of residents here and elsewhere are now living until a very advanced age – roughly 40,000 local residents are 85 or older. Baby Boomers are also committing suicide at a higher rate than prior generations. Health experts cite the lingering impact of the economic recession as another reason suicides have increased.

Failure to vaccinate fueled state’s measles epidemic

From the SF Chronicle.

California’s measles outbreak, which is finally showing signs of abating 10 weeks after it began, is unlike anything that state and local public health authorities have ever seen. The outbreak, sparked by an infected visitor to a Disney theme park just before Christmas, has spread not unlike a wildfire, infectious disease experts said. The virus efficiently jumped among clusters of vulnerable individuals up and down the state, where a large store of unvaccinated adults and children has been building up over the past two decades like so much dry tinder on a forest floor. And, without substantial improvement in vaccination rates statewide, communities can expect more of the same for years to come, public health and infectious disease experts say.
"This stuff shouldn?t happen. This is clearly failure to vaccinate," said Dr. George Rutherford, director of UCSF’s Institute for Global Health and former state epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health. "When the virus gets introduced to a community, it will find people who are susceptible. Now there’s a sufficiently large susceptible population to sustain transmission."

NARAL claims ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ are anti-abortion fronts

From 89.3 KPCC.

Across California, crisis pregnancy centers are posing as medical offices and providing women with biased and sometimes false information with the goal of keeping them from getting abortions, according to an investigation by NARAL Pro-Choice California, which supports abortion rights. The report coincides with a national report by NARAL Pro-Choice America, which claims the same practices are occurring across the U.S. The local NARAL sent undercover investigators to 45 of the 167 crisis pregnancy centers in California, and found a number of questionable practices, including at centers licensed as free or community clinics by the California Department of Public Health, according to its report.

Survey reveals more trauma after August earthquake

From the Napa Valley Register.

The amount of trauma and property damage from the August earthquake was greater than has been reported, according to a survey released this week by the California Department of Public Health. Although one person died and an estimated 280 people went to the local ER, many more Napa residents told surveyors of physical injury when questioned in September.
In 6,906 households – 23 percent of Napa’s total – someone sustained a cut, gash, sprain or other physical injury, the survey calculated. Nearly half of these injuries occurred during quake cleanup.

Report: California hospitals show progress preventing infections

From the Modesto Bee.

Infections in health care settings continue to be a public health risk in California, the state revealed in a report last week. According to data released by the California Department of Public Health, 424 acute care hospitals reported 18,780 infections in 2013.
But overall, according to the state, the report showed that California hospitals have demonstrated progress in preventing infections.