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Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency
Health Alerts and Local Health Bulletin Archive
-- Health Reports and Statistics --


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Post Date

Health Alert Archive/Bulletins Index

Public
Health
Warning

Previous Food/Product Recalls

List of Lead Product Recalls and Lead Related News

Sept. 18, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory
Nationwide Shortage of Tuberculin Skin Test Antigens

Due to the shortage of tuberculin skin test (TST) products, the Public Health Department is asking all health care providers and school officials to conserve the limited supplies for use only in children under the age of 5 years, if indicated. Public Health officials recommend the following testing guidelines for all others:

Click here to view entire public health advisory

Click here to view TB Risk Assessment Form
 

Aug. 6, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory
West Nile Virus (WNV) Recently Detected

West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected for the first time in 2013 in our county.

  • Two dead birds have tested positive for the virus.
  • The first dead bird tested positive for chronic WNV. It was found on the upper West Side of the city of Santa Cruz and was submitted for testing on July 17th.
  • The second dead bird tested positive for acute WNV. It was found in the Thurber Lane and Winkle Ave. area and was submitted for testing on July 31st.
  • An acute infection of a dead bird indicates that there are mosquitoes in the area that can transmit the infection. A chronic infection of a dead bird does not indicate that infection occurred in the area where the bird was found.
  • There has been WNV activity in many counties of the state. Regionally, Santa Clara County has been particularly active.
  • As of today, there have been no human cases reported this year in Santa Cruz County.

Click here to read press release from County Health Officer

West Nile Virus Frequently Asked Questions

 

Aug. 6, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory
Rise in Pertussis Cases

The Communicable Disease Unit of the Public Health Department has noted a sharp rise in reported pertussis cases from one case in the first quarter of 2013 (Jan. through March) to 14 cases in the second quarter (April through June). All of the cases were 13 years of age and younger. These numbers indicate a local increase in pertussis activity.

Click here to read press release from County Health Officer

 

May 9, 2011
Public
Health
Update

Measles Health Update and Immunization Reminder

Student Immunization Reminder:
Beginning July 1, 2011, all students entering grades 7-12 within Santa Cruz County must provide proof of having immunization against whooping cough (‘Tdap’) before starting school. In light of California’s recent whooping cough (also known as pertussis) epidemic, there is no reason to wait for the new school year. Health professionals encourage parents to have their children vaccinated with the whooping cough booster shot, Tdap, now in order to protect them against whooping cough and to meet the 2011-12 school requirements. 

Press Release: New Rule Before School! Vaccines Now Required for 7th-12th Grade Students

Feb. 15, 2011
Public
Health
Advisory

Immunizations for Students entering Grades 7-12

Beginning July 1, 2011, all students entering grades 7-12 within Santa Cruz County must provide proof of having immunization against whooping cough (‘Tdap’) before starting school. In light of California’s recent whooping cough (also known as pertussis) epidemic, there is no reason to wait for the new school year. Health professionals encourage parents to have their children vaccinated with the whooping cough booster shot, Tdap, now in order to protect them against whooping cough and to meet the 2011-12 school requirements. 

Press Release: New Rule Before School! Vaccines Now Required for 7th-12th Grade Students

 

Oct. 8, 2013
Press
Release

2013 Seasonal Flu Vaccine Schedule

For the current 2013-2014 flu season, the seasonal flu vaccine once again includes protection against H1N1 flu. 
  • Flu vaccines are recommended once a year.
  • Children (6-months to 8-years of age) who did not receive a flu vaccine last year or have never had a flu vaccine may need two doses.
  • Talk with your doctor about protecting yourself and others against the flu. 
  • Call the flu information line at (831) 454-4343 for up-to-date information regarding flu within Santa Cruz County

Days/Times

Cost

Locations

Monday - Friday
Between 1:30pm and 4pm
(excluding holidays)

No appointment necessary, subject to availability and space.

Cost: $30*
* No cost for people with Medi-Cal, Medicare, Healthy Families or Healthy Kids.

Santa Cruz Health Center
1080 Emeline Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA (831) 454-4100

Watsonville County Health Clinic
9 Crestview Drive, Watsonville
(831) 763-8400

Vaccine Availability:

Thimerosal-free vaccine is currently available for pregnant women and children 6 to 36 months of age.

It is now recommended that everyone six months or older get vaccinated against the flu each year. This is especially important for the following groups:

  • Children aged 6 months to 18 years of age,

  • Pregnant women,

  • People 50 years of age and older,

  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions,

  • People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities,

  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above),

    • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated),

    • Healthcare workers.

The following sources may also have the flu shot available:  

If you have questions about flu vaccine, call 454-4343 (at the end of the message, during business hours, you will be able to speak to a public health nurse).

Click here for more information about the Flu

Oct. 1, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory

Masking of Health Care Workers During Influenza Season

Influenza infection accounts for an estimated 36,000 excess deaths in the US each year and approximately 200,000 hospitalizations. Health Care Workers (HCWs) are both at risk for influenza and can transmit the virus to their vulnerable patients. Influenza vaccination of HCWs protects medically fragile patients and reduces employee absenteeism during influenza season.

Santa Cruz County Health Officer, Dr Lisa Hernandez, has ordered that all licensed healthcare facilities and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers in Santa Cruz County implement a mandatory influenza vaccination program for the 2013-2014 influenza season. All of the facility's HCWs must receive an annual influenza vaccine or, if they decline, wear a mask while providing direct patient care or working in patient care areas during the influenza season.

Duration of Order: For the purposes of this order, the influenza season is defined as November 4, 2013 to March 31, 2014. If influenza surveillance data suggest widespread influenza activity late in the spring, this order may be extended.

July 12, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory
Variant Influenza A (H3N2v)

The first cases of influenza A (H3N2) variant (H3N2v) virus infection this year were reported in June 2013. These cases were associated with exposure to swine at an agricultural fair in Indiana prior to illness onset. Health officials anticipate that more H3N2v cases will be identified in 2013 as the agricultural fair season continues. At this time, H3N2v has not yet been detected in California.

Click here to read press release from County Health Officer

 

June 20, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory
Novel Avian Influenza A (H7N9)

On April 1st, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported three human infections with a novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in China.  As of June 3rd, 2013, Chinese Public Health officials have reported 132 laboratory confirmed cases with 37 deaths.  No new cases of human infection have been reported since May 29, 2013.  Sustained person-to-person transmission has not been demonstrated.  At this time, no human cases of H7N9 have been detected in the U.S.  Since current data shows that almost all patients with H7N9 have had severe respiratory illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed its recommendations regarding testing.  See below for details.

Click here to read press release from County Health Officer

 

June 18, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)

A novel coronavirus, known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) has caused severe illness and death in several countries. This coronavirus was identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. As of today, 64 cases have been laboratory-confirmed, with 38 deaths. Most people who get MERS-CoV develop severe acute respiratory illness, with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. There is clear evidence of person-to-person transmission, though the specifics of modes and routes of transmission are still being investigated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Neither organization has yet to issue travel warnings to any of the countries affected. No cases have been reported in the U.S. as yet.

Click here to read press release from County Health Officer

 

May 31, 2013
Public
Health
Alert
Hepatitis A Warning Regarding Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of Frozen Mixed Berries

The Public Health Department is reporting a confirmed case of Hepatitis A (HAV) in a resident of Santa Cruz County that has been linked to the consumption of "Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend" of frozen berries sold at a local Costco store. The case was not hospitalized and is recovering at home.

  • Do not eat recalled "Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend" of frozen berries and discard remaining product from your freezers. This product was sold at Costco in 3 lb. Bags with the UPC 07841440448.
  • Even if some of the product has been eaten without anyone in your home becoming ill, the rest of the product should be discarded.
  • If you consumed this product in the last two weeks, contact your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated.
  • If you don’t have a health care provider or health insurance or are under-insured, you can go to the walk-in Immunization Clinic (for vaccine only, not for medical care) at 1080 Emeline, Santa Cruz or 9 Crestview Dr. in Watsonville to receive a low cost or free HAV vaccination. Walk-in hours are 1:30pm to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday in Santa Cruz and 1:00pm to 4:00pm in Watsonville.
  • If you have had HAV in the past or if you have been vaccinated against HAV, you are unlikely to become ill with the disease.
  • Call the CDC INFO line at 1-800-232-4636 for specific questions about HAV.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HAV

If you consumed this product longer than two weeks ago, watch for these symptoms:

  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pale stools
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue

Illness can occur within 15-50 days after eating contaminated food, with an average range of 28-30 days.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Visit www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Pages/CommunicableDiseaseOutbreaks.aspx
  • Visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/
April 25, 2013
Press
Release
New Syringe Service Program to Begin on April 30, 2013
The Health Services Agency of Santa Cruz County will be overseeing a new syringe service program (SSP) beginning April 30th.  

Click here to read press release from County Health Officer

 

April 22, 2013
Public
Health
Update

Novel Avian Influenza A (H7N9)

On April 1st, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported three human infections with a novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus in China.  As of April 22nd, 2013, there are 104 laboratory confirmed cases and 21 deaths.  At this time, no human cases of H7N9 have been detected in the U.S.  No person-to-person transmission or epidemiologic link between cases has been identified thus far.  Preliminary data suggests that cases are susceptible to neurominidase inhibitors.

Click here to View Public Health Advisory

 

April 19, 2013
Press
Release
 

National Infant Immunization Week April 20-27, 2013

National Infant Immunization Week April 20-27, 2013

 

Mar. 29, 2013
Press
Release
 

Official End of Influenza Season March 31, 2013

Based on local influenza activity reports, the official end to the influenza season is March 31, 2013

Click here to read press release from County Health Officer

 

Mar. 21, 2013
Press
Release

World TB Day March 24th

March 24 is World TB Day, which commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB), a leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide. World TB Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about TB-related problems and solutions. The U.S. slogan for the 2012 observance is Stop TB in My Lifetime.

Click here to read press release

 

Feb. 1, 2013
Public
Health
Alert

Report of Measles in San Lorenzo Valley

The Communicable Disease Unit (CD) of the Public Health Department has been investigating a confirmed case of imported measles and an epidemiologically linked case in two San Lorenzo Valley residents.  

Jan. 22, 2013
Public
Health
Advisory

Isoniazid (INH) Shortage Situation

There is currently a nationwide shortage of isoniazid (INH). INH is one of the most important drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB) disease and latent TB infection (LTBI). The low inventory is caused by a shortage of the active ingredient used in the manufacture of INH and shipping delays. Increased access to INH is anticipated by the end of January per FDA and supplier sources, but, there is uncertainty about whether further delays in INH manufacture will occur and whether the supply over the next several months will meet the quantity needed to treat the patients diagnosed with TB disease and infection.

View Public Health Advisory

Jan. 18, 2013
Public
Health
Update

Seasonal Influenza Update

The Public Health Department has received information from local physicians that influenza cases are on the rise in Santa Cruz County. California influenza activity has been upgraded to "widespread" which means that outbreaks of influenza or increases in influenza-like-illness (ILI) cases and recent laboratory-confirmed influenza are present in at least half the regions of the state. Influenza is much more serious than the common cold and has the potential of causing serious illness or death.

Public Health Advisory for Public Health Actions and Recommendations

Health Care Provider Advisory and Recommendations

 

June 3, 2011
Public
Health
Advisory

Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104:H4 infections in Germany

View Public Health Advisory

Feb. 4, 2011
Public
Health
Advisory

Update on Annual Local Influenza Activity

Since January 18, 2011, four cases of lab-confirmed influenza have been identified in Santa Cruz County. The first case, typed as 2009 seasonal H1N1 influenza, was found in a hospitalized patient who subsequently expired. Two cases, typed as H3 (strain type pending), are part of a large respiratory outbreak in a local congregate living facility. The fourth case, which is rapid screen positive and PCR pending, is also a part of the outbreak.

Public Health Advisory: Update on Annual Local Influenza Activity

 

Jan. 4, 2011
Public
Health
Advisory

Kawasaki Syndrome

The CDPH Division of Communicable Disease Control (DCDC) was recently notified by a local health department that a pediatric cardiology group had recently consulted on seven children with Kawasaki Syndrome (AKA Kawasaki Disease) in the San Francisco Bay Area. DCDC is working with several Bay Area counties to determine whether there are increases in KS cases in these counties. The County of Santa Cruz public health department would like you to be aware that cases of Kawasaki Syndrome have been noted in the Bay Area. Cases may also be occurring in surrounding communities.

Posted 1/4/11: Kawasaki Syndrome Health Advisory

 

April 4, 2011
Public
Health
Warning

Early Quarantine of Sport-Harvested Mussels

Coming a month earlier than in normal years, the annual quarantine of all mussel species publicly harvested along the California coast takes effect March 29, 2011.  The quarantine is beginning earlier this year because testing by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) detected elevated levels of domoic acid and paralytic shellfish poisoning.

The mussel quarantine runs through October 31, 2011.  It applies to sport-harvested mussels along the coast, including all bays, harbors and estuaries. Commercially harvested shellfish are not included in the annual quarantine. These products are certified by the state and subject to strict requirements to ensure that all oysters, clams and mussels entering the marketplace are free of toxins. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

March 17, 2011

Public
Health
Update

Information Regarding Radioactivity from Japanese Nuclear Reactors

Posted 3/17/11: In a statement released this morning, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) stated that there is no risk expected to California or its residents as a result of the situation in Japan. Both agencies will continue to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to actively monitor the situation. 

It is not recommended that residents take potassium iodide tablets as a precautionary measure. The tablets can be a danger to people with allergies to iodine, shellfish or who have thyroid problems. Taken inappropriately, the tablets can have serious side effects including abnormal heart rhythms, nausea, vomiting, and bleeding. 

  • Residents may call the California Department of Public Health hotline with specific questions concerning this incident. The number is 916-341-3947.
  • Information on radiation is also available at http://www.cdc.gov/
  • For updated information on monitoring, response and relief efforts in California and Japan, please visit the CalEMA website at http://www.calema.ca.gov/

View Public Health Update: English - Spanish

Radiation Information:

June 24, 2010

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) State Epidemic

California is experiencing an epidemic of pertussis with a 4-fold increase from the number of reported cases during the same time period in 2009.  As of 6/15/10, there have been 910 cases of pertussis reported in 2010.  There are an additional 600 suspect cases currently being investigated by local health jurisdictions for a total of over 1500 cases.  From January to May 2010, there have been 5 infant deaths due to pertussis.  Santa Cruz County currently has 20 cases.

Posted 6/24/10: Pertussis Public Health Alert

Pertussis Information:

Aug. 17, 2009

Press Release

Santa Cruz/Lockheed Fire UPDATE

Smoke Conditions Cause Health Concerns

 

Oct. 21, 2008

Public
Health
Advisory

Davenport Air Quality: Cr6 Levels

Posted 10/21/08:  Davenport Cr6 Updates

Sept. 19, 2008

Public
Health
Advisory

Rabies Vaccine Shortage

Posted 9/18/08 (For Health Care Providers): Rabies Vaccine Shortage and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Algorithm

Aug. 26, 2008

Public
Health
Advisory

Local Increase in Salmonella Infections

Posted 8/26/08 (For Health Care Providers): Local Increase in Salmonella Infections

Aug. 6, 2008

Public
Health
Advisory

West Nile Virus

Click here for more information about West Nile Virus

Nov. 16, 2007

Public
Health
Advisory

Foodborne Illness Outbreak

Nov. 2, 2007

Public
Health
Advisory

Light Brown Apple Moth Spraying

May 23, 2008

Public
Health
Advisory

Trabing Fire Information

Posted 6/21/08: Trabing Fire Public Health Advisory

May 23, 2008

Public
Health
Advisory

Summit Fire Information

The Summit Fire has deposited large amounts of ash and burned residential structures in and outside of the areas of the wildfires.  The residual ash condition will continue for several weeks, even after the wildfires are extinguished.  To better inform County residents of possible dangers from contact with the ash, County Public Health is providing this advisory for the safe handling and disposal procedures for ash involved debris.

Click here to view or print Advice on Safe Ash Cleanup

Summit Fire Information

May 13, 2008

Public
Health
Advisory

Prevention of Heat-Related Illness

To prevent heat-related illnesses when temperatures are extremely high, the Public Health Department has compiled these recommendations. These self-help measures are not a substitute for medical care but may help you recognize and respond promptly to warning signs of trouble. Your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities, and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and healthy.

Posted 5/13/08: Prevention of Heat Related Illness

CDC Information about Extreme Heat

July 2, 2007

Public
Health
Alert

Heat Advisory Information

April 23, 2007

Public
Health
Warning

Mussel Quarantine in Effect

The annual quarantine on sport-harvested mussels taken from the ocean waters of California for human consumption takes effect immediately because testing by the California Department of Health Services has detected elevated levels of domoic acid, State Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Horton announced today. This quarantine, which usually takes effect May 1 and continues through Oct. 31, 2007, affects all species of mussels harvested by the public anywhere on the California coast, including all bays and estuaries. 

Consumers of sport-harvested, bivalve (two-shelled) clams or scallops are advised to eat only the white meat, removing and discarding the dark-colored organs or viscera before cooking. Shellfish for human consumption should only be taken from areas free of sewage or chemical contamination during all times of the year. 

No commercially harvested shellfish are included in the annual quarantine. All commercial shellfish harvesters in California are certified by the state and subject to strict requirements to ensure that all oysters, clams and mussels entering the marketplace are free of toxins. Commercial harvesting is stopped immediately if potentially dangerous levels of toxins are found. The California Department of Health Services’ (CDHS) shellfish sampling and testing program for PSP and DAP issues warnings or establishes special quarantines when needed. Local health departments, various state and federal agencies and others participate in the monitoring program. For updated information on quarantines and shellfish toxins, call the CDHS shellfish information line at (510) 412-4643 or toll-free at (800) 553-4133. 

ADDITONAL INFORMATION

Feb. 20, 2007

Baby Food Warning

Local Public Health Officials Warn Against Consumption of Certain Brands of Baby Foods

Feb. 18, 2007

Peanut Butter Warning

Local Public Health Officials Warn Against Consumption of Certain Brands of Peanut Butter

Jan. 16, 2007

Wild Mushroom Warning

Local Public Health Officials Warn Against Consumption of Wild Mushrooms

Sept. 29, 2006

Public
Health
Alert

Raw Milk E.coli Alert

Sept. 14, 2006

Public
Health
Alert

Spinach E. coli Health Alert

ADDITONAL INFORMATION

August 30, 2006

Public
Health
Alert

West Nile Virus Update

Click here for more information about West Nile Virus

April 5, 2006

Avian Influenza Updates

PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY for all Santa Cruz County Physicians: 
Enhanced Surveillance for Seasonal and Avian Influenza (H5N1)

Click here for more information about Avian/Bird Influenza

Dec. 15, 2005

Prop 63 (Mental Health Services Act) Planning Process

Nov. 18, 2005 PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY: 
Aug. 16, 2005

Change to Reportable Disease List
Change to Reportable Disease List - for Labs

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   1080 Emeline Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 | Phone: 831 454 4000 | Fax: 831 454 4770
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