CDPH In The News, October 2015

CDPH in the News

CA officials move to vaporize e-cigs

With public opinion in flux and anti-tobacco activists on edge, the California Department of Public Health has rolled out "Wake Up," a slick new ad campaign to discourage the use of e-cigarettes, or "vapes." Recently, CDPH pronounced e-cigs a threat to public health. In a statement explaining the campaign, CDPH described two new TV ads emphasizing "the e-cigarette industry’s use of candy flavored ‘e-juice’" and "exposing the fact that big tobacco companies are in the e-cigarette business."

Clinical, demographic factors identify patients at risk for measles transmission
from Helio

Clinical and demographic features of patients in particular regions may be used to identify those at risk for measles transmission during an outbreak, according to data presented at IDWeek 2015. "Our preliminary findings indicate that certain demographic and clinical features of measles cases are associated with transmitting measles (or not)," Jennifer Zipprich, PhD, of the immunization branch of the California Department of Public Health, told Infectious Diseases in Children. "These findings are part of a larger project to help us understand how to prioritize measles contact investigations in the setting where multiple investigations are occurring, such as a large, statewide measles outbreak."

Study results showed that coughing increased the likelihood of measles transmission (OR = 3.3; 95% CI, 1.1-9.7). Furthermore, children who received at least two doses of measles vaccine reported coughing (P < .0001), coryza (P < .0001), conjunctivitis (P < .0001), fever (P <. 01) and hospitalization (P = .03) less frequently than children who received one dose or no vaccine.

Experts baffled by cadmium contamination in spinach
from The Californian

Regulators have yet to discover the source of cadmium that caused Salinas spinach to be recalled in September. Over a month ago, the California Department of Public Health found that a batch of baby spinach grown by organicgirl Produce LLC contained 10 times more cadmium than average. Although no one was sickened by the incident, and cadmium wasn’t found in any other produce during or since, the levels were high enough to raise concerns about long-term exposure.

The CDPH will continue to investigate the issue in the coming year. The department is planning to conduct additional sampling and monitoring during the next growing season. CDPH will continue to work with the industry and other agencies such as [California Department of Food and Agriculture] to better understand the issue, including the sources of the cadmium, how spinach may uptake cadmium in the growing environment, and what mitigation strategies might prove effective.

California Department of Public Health Study Shows Prenatal Vaccination Decreases Severe Illness and Death in Pediatric Pertussis Casess
from Sierra Sun Times

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced the results of a CDPH study that shows additional benefits of prenatal pertussis vaccination. Vaccination of pregnant women against pertussis (whooping cough) has been found to prevent whooping cough in their infants, however no vaccine is 100 percent effective and some infants of vaccinated women develop pertussis.The study found that infants were significantly less likely to have severe illness or die from pertussis if their mother had received the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine during pregnancy.

"Prior studies have demonstrated that prenatal Tdap vaccination reduces the risk of whooping cough among infants less than two months of age," Dr. Smith said. "However, this is the first study that CDPH is aware of that has evaluated the impact of Tdap vaccine during pregnancy on the outcomes of infants who do become infected with pertussis. This study provides more evidence that getting the Tdap vaccine is the best way for pregnant mothers to protect their babies from pertussis and its complications."

Californians are naming their kids after ‘Game of Thrones’ characters
from SFGate

Ever since the fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" premiered on HBO in 2011, the names of the show’s most popular characters have been popping up in up-and-coming baby names lists pulling ideas from pop culture.

These trend predictions always seem far-fetched – what parent would give their kids the "difficult to spell and pronounce" names Khaleesi or Daenerys? Turns out, here in California, enough are doing this to declare it a trend. SFGate took a close look at the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) baby name data and found that a small yet increasing number of parents have an affinity for fantastical names inspired by the television hit. One of the more convincing examples we found: Before 2011, the ‘Game of Thrones’ name Khaleesi wasn’t included in CDPH data. In 2011, the name popped up five times. There were 31 instances in 2012 and 38 in 2013. In 2014, parents named 54 babies Khaleesi. In comparison, only 21 babies were named Betsy.