CDPH in the News, March 2016

CDPH in the News

Three more hospitals hit with ransomware attacks

from Network World

Two southern California hospitals were hit with cyberattacks on Friday, according to Healthcare Finance. The affected hospitals were Chino Valley Medical Center and Desert Valley Hospital, which are part of the national hospital chain Prime Healthcare Services. The malware attack “disrupted servers” and resulted in “some IT systems” being shut down so the infection wouldn’t spread.
Prime Healthcare spokesman Fred Ortega said the FBI had been contacted, but refused to say if the malware was ransomware or what ransom was being demanded. Ortega added, “The concern now is to let law enforcement do their thing and find the culprit.” Besides the FBI, “data security experts and the California Department of Public Health” are involved in the case.

Residents protest aerial spraying as weapon against mosquitoes

from Orange County Register

Emotions bubbled up Monday night at a town hall meeting on the battle against mosquitoes, with handfuls of parents, many trailing children and carrying protest signs, voicing their opposition to aerial spraying of pesticides to combat the potentially deadly West Nile virus. … The California Department of Public Health says, “While the pesticides used for mosquito control can cause adverse health effects under certain circumstances … the available data suggest that they are relatively safe when applied by (ultra low volume) spraying according to label instructions.”

Heart condition triggering investigation can come without warning

from Ventura County Star

As public health officials investigate a potentially fatal heart condition emerging in a cluster in Ventura County, cardiologists say the disease can be linked to a litany of causes including many viruses. Late Wednesday, Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said his office was investigating at least nine cases of cardiomyopathy, most emerging in February. At least five cases occurred in the Oxnard area, triggering concern there could be common causes. There has been one confirmed death. Levin declined to offer details, citing patient privacy. In its investigation, the county is working with the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Silicon Valley Daycares Still Have Big Vaccination Problems


EVERY YEAR, THE California Department of Public Health collects statistics on vaccination rates at licensed daycare facilities and preschools. In 2015, WIRED reported that, based on the immunization rates at daycares associated with some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies, employees-presumably science-minded and futurist in their thinking, were nevertheless incompletely vaccinating their children.
The 2016 data just came out, and, well, we have good news and bad news. Some of the numbers have come up, but some workers at tech companies still aren’t vaccinating their children to the extent recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control. That’s bad. It leaves both the kids and their toddler classmates vulnerable to infectious pathogens.

Humboldt Bay to Turn Red in Name of Science

from North Coast Journal

Some water testing next week may leave those in and around Humboldt Bay seeing red.
The California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that they will begin a series of water tests March 14 that will include dumping a non-toxic, fluorescent red dye – Rhodamine WT – into the bay to help track how wastewater flows and dilutes in Humboldt Bay. The test – which comes as a part of the state’s evaluation of Arcata’s proposal to move the outflow of treated sewage from its wastewater treatment plant to a new location within the bay – seeks to make sure the bay’s commercial shellfish industry is protected from potential sources of contamination.
“The goal here is the safety of people who like to eat commercially harvested shellfish, such as oysters, clams and mussels,” said California Department of Public Health Director Karen Smith in a press release. “While this may cause the bay to look unusual, the water should return to its normal color within days. The dye is commonly used for these studies and has an excellent safety record.”