CDPH in the News, September 2017

CDPH in the News

Orange County’s wealthiest cities have biggest opioid problem

from 89.3 KPCC

Opioid abuse and overdoses have caused emergency room visits in Orange County to more than double over the last decade, according to a recent report from the county health care agency. The cities with the highest rates of opioid-related emergency room visits are in generally wealthy south Orange County and along the coast, with Dana Point at the top of the list. Orange County’s opioid-related death rate is much higher than the state average — and nearly three times higher than neighboring Los Angeles County, according to the California Department of Public Health’s Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard.

Hepatitis C Virus outbreak among millennials

from Capitol Weekly

Millennials haven’t inherited the best batch of goods from baby boomers. They got a housing crisis, a shaky job market, and some enormous student loans. But until recently, viral hepatitis was the burden of boomers alone to bear. Now, millennials are also facing an outbreak of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). California’s Department of Public Health says newly reported HCV infections increased 55 percent among men aged 20-to-29, from 2007 to 2015. Among women in the same age group the increase was 37 percent.
Viral hepatitis is often thought of as a disease of baby boomers. Since Hepatitis C wasn’t screened out of the blood supply until 1992, it’s been mostly older populations who are affected. But California is now seeing a spike in new HCV infections in millennials. With existing money tight and future funding uncertain to test and treat hepatitis, the observed increase could be just the tip of the iceberg.

California is ‘hiring extensively’ as recreational marijuana approaches

from Desert Sun

California is staffing up for the regulation of recreational marijuana. The state is seeking at least 175 employees in the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing office and the California Department of Public Health. Those three agencies split the responsibilities of regulating recreational marijuana, which California voters approved in November 2016. A spokesperson for the Department of Public Health said the 2017-2018 budget created 50 new positions in cannabis regulation, which they aim to fill by January.

Protecting Oil/Gas Extraction Workers from Hazards

from Sun News

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the California Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Branch (CDPH-OHB), recently released a video to help protect oil and gas extraction workers from the hazards they face when measuring oil storage tanks. The video, Protecting Oil and Gas Workers from Hydrocarbon Gases and Vapors, weaves together a narrative of the health and safety risks involved with this activity, and how employers and workers can reduce injuries and fatalities from exposure to toxic gases and oxygen-deficient atmospheres.
Over 500,000 workers are employed in the oil & gas industry, a workforce that is critical to the energy infrastructure of the nation. In the video, the experiences of oil and gas workers who are responsible for measuring tank levels, or tank gauging, and the sampling of crude oil are told from the heart by a truck owner/operator, a company operations superintendent, and the widow of a man who died of sudden cardiac death while gauging.

California will now track suicide among veterans

from San Diego Union Tribune

A new law will require California officials to compile statistics on how many military veterans are committing suicide in the state. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation Monday. One of the law’s proponents said the new requirement makes California one of 22 states to accurately report veteran suicide. Assembly Bill 242 was introduced by two Fresno assemblymen, Republican Jim Patterson and Democrat Joaquin Arambula. Specifically, the legislation requires the California Department of Public Health to report the number of veteran suicides every year to the state Legislature and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
The data would come from county coroners.