CDPH in the News, September 2015

CDPH in the News

Dig Clams, Die Slow
from North Coast Journal
The California Department of Public Health is warning not to eat recreationally-harvested clams, mussels or other bivalves in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, saying that high levels of domoic acid have been detected in samples of these species. Consumption can cause illness and death. However, it is still safe to eat commercially harvested shellfish, which are regularly tested before they arrive on your plate. So, for the time being, leave the digging and shucking to the professionals.

West Nile hit California harder than ever last year
from ChicoER Health
West Nile virus hit California harder than ever last year, with a record 561 cases of neuroinvasive disease — the most serious form of the illness — reported from the mosquito-borne virus, according to new federal health data released late last week. The number of California cases of neuroinvasive disease was 83 percent higher than the previous record number reported in the state in 2005, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of those cases — 70 percent — were reported in Los Angeles and Orange counties, which recorded 15 West Nile deaths last year. Santa Clara County is the only county in the Bay Area to have reported West Nile virus infections in people this year, with two cases detected, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Organicgirl Baby Spinach Recalled ‘Out Of An Abundance Of Caution’ Due To Detection Of Cadmium
from Global Dispatch
organicgirl Produce is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of 5 oz. organicgirl Baby Spinach with a Use-by Date of September 13 and Product Code B030298-001B08S due to test results indicating the presence of trace levels of the naturally-occurring element cadmium. The recall includes 1,290 cases distributed primarily to Western and Midwestern states. No other organicgirl Baby Spinach products or other organicgirl salads are included in the recall. This recall action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to an isolated instance in which a single package of 5 oz. organicgirl Baby Spinach tested randomly by the California Department of Public Health demonstrated the presence of trace levels of cadmium.

Chapman named Yolo County health officer
from Davis Enterprise
The former head of the California Department of Public Health is Yolo County’s new health officer, replacing Dr. Constance Caldwell who retired earlier this year. Dr. Ron Chapman, a longtime resident of Yolo County, served as the state?s health officer and public health director from June 2011 until January 2015.

DPH Warns Residents About Health Effects of Ash From Wildfires
from California Healthline
California public health officials are warning tens of thousands of residents who are returning to areas affected by two large wildfires about health risks associated with the debris. In a release, the state Department of Public Health warned that while ash from trees and other vegetative matter usually is non-toxic, certain substances — such as asbestos and chemicals — can be found in ash from burned homes and commercial structures. According to DPH, those substances can be toxic to individuals who touch them with wet skin or inhale them.