CDPH in the News, November 2015

CDPH in the News

WEST NILE: State, county break records for deaths
from Press Enterprise

A record number of people have suffered West Nile virus-related deaths this year in California and Riverside County, while the county also reached an all-time high number of infections. As of Nov. 6, the most recent figures available on the California Department of Public Health?s West Nile website, the state listed 512 human cases of West Nile virus in 30 counties. State numbers on the site lag behind the more up-to-date county numbers.

California’s rural counties struggle with rising number of suicides
from Sacramento Bee

The suicide rate in California’s rural counties is rising twice as fast as the rate in its urban centers, according to a Bee review of the latest data from the California Department of Public Health. Twenty-seven California counties have fewer than 175,000 residents. The suicide rate in those counties was almost 19 per 100,000 residents in 2013, up 23 percent from 2004.The suicide rate in urban counties rose by about 11 percent during the same period. The suicide rate in rural California counties was more than 80 percent higher than the rate in urban counties during 2013, state figures show.

Health Officials Warn: Invasive Mosquito That Can Carry Yellow Fever Found in San Jacinto
from Banning-Beaumont Patch

An invasive mosquito that can carry yellow fever and other diseases has been detected in San Jacinto, one of 35 California cities where it has been located. A resident in south San Jacinto brought an adult mosquito to the Riverside County Vector Control program staff last week. Because the mosquito appeared to be an Aedes aegypti mosquito, traps were set in the area and eight more adult mosquitoes and several larvae were collected. They were positively identified as Aedes aegypti Monday (10/26) by county staff and the California Department of Public Health.

O.C. overdue for a needle-exchange program
from Orange County Register

Needle-exchange programs are an effective means of preventing the spread of HIV, connecting individuals in need with social services and even preventing the improper disposal of drug paraphernalia. According to the latest figures from the California Department of Public Health, Orange County reported 972 Hepatitis C cases and 502 of Hepatitis B in 2011. As of June 30, 2014, the county also had the fourth-highest number of HIV cases in the state. Injection drug use is a significant risk factor for all of them and a known factor in the majority of Hepatitis C cases and roughly 10 percent of HIV infections. So, one wonders why a needle-exchange program, which allows injection drug users to turn in used needles for sterilized ones, has yet to take root in this county, the largest in California to lack one.

City prepares ban on e-cigarette stores
from Napa Valley Register

With public health reports showing teenagers increasingly favoring e-cigarettes over tobacco products, the American Canyon City Council is preparing to pass a new law barring businesses that exclusively sell such products. The California Department of Public Health issued a report earlier this year that warned the rise in e-cigarette popularity posed a serious health threat, particularly among young people. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported as well that the use of e-cigarettes among middle school and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014. Given the large number of young families with school-age children in American Canyon, council members say they want to discourage kids from smoking tobacco cigarettes or "vaping" smokeless e-cigarettes that use nicotine and other ingredients to make them enticing to youth.

California’s Newborn Cystic Fibrosis Screening Shows Promise
from Medscape Medical News

California’s three-step newborn screening model for cystic fibrosis (CF) shows high efficiency, sensitivity, and positive predictive value and low false positives in the first 5 years, according to an analysis published online November 16 in Pediatrics. The three steps consist of measuring immunoreactive trypsinogen in all dried blood spot specimens, testing from 28 to 40 selected CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutations in specimens with immunoreactive trypsinogen values of at least 62 ng/mL (top 1.6%), and performing DNA sequencing on specimens found to have only one mutation in step 2. "Program sensitivity was 92%, and the positive predictive value was 34%. CF prevalence was 1 in 6899 births," Martin Kharrazi, PhD, MPH, from the California Department of Public Health, Richmond, and colleagues write.