CDPH in the News, May 2015

CDPH in the News

ACMG: UCSF-led Team Assessing Newborn Sequencing as Second Tier Test for Metabolic Conditions
from Genome web

At the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics annual meeting here this week, the University of California at San Francisco’s Robert Nussbaum provided new details on a study investigating the potential of using high-throughput exome sequencing as an ancillary screening test for metabolic conditions in newborns. The recently launched effort, known as "Newbie Seq," or NB Seq, is one of several ongoing efforts at four centers that are aimed at exploring various aspects of newborn sequencing. By adding sequence data to existing mass spectrometric profiles, those involved in NB Seq hope to dial down the number of healthy newborns that are erroneously flagged as potential metabolic disease carriers. Nussbaum and his colleagues believe there is an opportunity to apply sequencing during second-tier screening to reduce the false positives before screening test results are returned to physicians. They saw an opportunity to explore that possibility in the realm of metabolic disease screening using 1,600 de-identified dried blood spot samples obtained retrospectively from the California Department of Public Health.

Videos aim to prevent MSDs among dental hygienists
from Safety + Health

A new series of informational videos is intended to help prevent musculoskeletal disorders among dental hygienists. The California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch developed the videos in collaboration with the Ergonomics Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Dental Hygienists’ Association. Busy schedules and repetitive-motion tasks can make dental hygienists vulnerable to MSDs that cause pain in the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and back, Dr. David M. Rempel, director of UC Berkeley?s Ergonomics Program, wrote in an accompanying report.

Schoolchildren deserve better protections from pesticides
from Sacramento Bee

A year ago, the California Department of Public Health issued a groundbreaking report detailing highly hazardous agricultural pesticide use near public schools, including schools in the Sacramento region. The report spelled out in clear terms that tens of thousands of Golden State children attend schools in close proximity to neurotoxic and cancer-causing pesticides. Yet one year later, state officials have yet to take any meaningful action to protect our children.

California Department of Public Health Says 2014 Set a Record for West Nile Virus Activity
from Sierra Sun Times

It was a record-breaking year for West Nile virus activity in 2014 California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith announced today. California had the second-highest number of human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2014 since the virus first invaded California in 2003. In 2014, California recorded 801 cases of the potentially fatal disease. In 2005, CDPH detected 880 cases of WNV. The highest number of cases was in Orange County (263 cases) and the highest incidence occurred in Glenn County (35.3 cases per 100,000 population).

Teachers not included in mandatory vaccination efforts
from SFGate

Student vaccination rates and immunization records have been in the news for months, but important data is missing from the statistics: that of teachers and administrators who are around children five days a week. A measles outbreak at Vista Murrieta High School in Riverside County, Calif., required the state to review student immunization records. Although the documentation with students’ vaccine information was easy to find, that of their teachers and the school’s staff was not. All data regarding adult immunizations is solely retrieved through surveys, which have a higher margin of error. The surveys are sent to the California Department of Public Health. Carlos Villatoro, from the California Department of Public Health, said teachers are aware of the importance of vaccines but there is little data on how many teachers have had vaccination shots.