CDPH in the News, September 2016

CDPH in the News

Public health officials upgrade Isabella algae warnings


The Kern County Department of Public Health has raised its water contact advisory from “warning” to “danger” for the Kissack Cove area of Lake Isabella, and has issued a new warning at Isabella’s Paradise Cove.
One week after it posted cautionary notices at three locations due to the discovery of potentially harmful blue-green algae in parts of Isabella Lake and the Kern River, the department said in a news release Wednesday that further sampling has indicated toxins produced from blue-green algae are indeed present in the Kissack Cove area of Isabella at levels that warrant raising the notice from warning to danger.
A separate news release from the California Department of Public Health indicates Kern is hardly alone in experiencing this seasonal phenomenon. Since June of this year, blue-green algae blooms have been identified in more than two dozen freshwater reservoirs, lakes and streams statewide.

State rejects closure plans for 3 Eureka nursing homes

from Times Standard

The California Department of Public Health has rejected Rockport Healthcare Services’ plans to close three of its Eureka nursing homes due to low staffing, stating the plans did not properly address health impacts to patients.
“If it is your intent to close Seaview Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, and Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, please submit new closure plans that adequately addressed the issues as outlined in this correspondence,” the department states in a Thursday letter to Rockport Healthcare Services.
However, that does not mean that the closures are completely off the table.

Immunization law targets school vaccination exemptions

from Richmond Confidential

California’s new immunization law, which went into effect in July, requires students to be fully vaccinated for school unless they have a medical reason and a doctor’s signature to prove it.
The new law shouldn’t be a burden for Richmond families this fall, said West Contra Costa County Unified School District Communications Director Marcus Walton. That’s because it was designed to eliminate so-called personal belief exemptions-which allow parents to forego required vaccines they object to for their children-and few such exemptions were filed in Richmond schools.
But the law does not address the most common reason some students in Richmond schools lack required vaccines: so-called conditional admission. Children who have not been fully vaccinated for their age or grade can start school “conditionally”-which means they pledge to get vaccinated eventually, but are not fully protected against the infectious diseases vaccines are meant to prevent.
The number of personal belief exemptions filed in Richmond has been historically low. A report released by the California Department of Public Health for the last school year shows that they were filed for just six students in the city’s schools. The tiny Contra Costa town of Byron, by contrast, has one school, Vista Oaks Charter, at which 47 percent of students lacked vaccines due to personal beliefs.

CDPH begins ALD screening in California infants

from Kern Golden Empire

The California Department of Public Health has announced that starting today its Genetic Disease Screening Program will now screen infants for adrenoleukodystrophy. Adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD, is a progressive neurological disease that is found in roughly one in 20,000 newborn boys. Without care, those afflicted with the disease can quickly die after complications are identified.
ALD complications can include adrenal gland dysfunction, which can cause weight loss, muscle weakness and fatigue. Complications from the disease do not usually occur until after the age of three.

Asian Pacific Islander Health Data Disaggregation Bill Signed into Law

from Christian Daily

A bill that requires California’s Department of Public Health to record the data separately for each Asian and Pacific Islander group was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday. Current state law already requires certain departments, including the Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, to collect data separately for each specific group among Asians and Pacific Islanders when conducting decennial census reports. This bill, AB 1726, would include the Department of Public Health in that existing law. Advocates who have been pushing for this legislation have said that the law would help to close disparities in health needs among Asian and Pacific Islanders.

First ever state hearing on aquaculture to be held in Bodega Bay next week

from Lake County News

Sen. Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Congressman Jared Huffman will convene a special hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Bodega Marine Laboratory to take an in-depth look at the aquaculture industry in California, as well as receive an update on the outlook for the upcoming Dungeness and rock crab seasons. This hearing will be the first time that the Joint Committee has focused primarily on aquaculture, which can be thought of as “farming in water.”
The farmed fish, oysters and seaweed industry is larger than ever and panelists will explore finfish, shellfish, inland production and perspectives from state agencies. The public is encouraged to attend. The hearing, “Crab Season Outlook for 2016-17 and Modern Aquaculture in California,” will feature testimony and updates on the upcoming crab season and current and anticipated domoic acid levels from representatives with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Public Health and top ocean scientists.