santacruzhealth.com logo

HOME PAGE | SEARCH | DIRECTORY | CONTACT HSA

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


Image of Adobe Acrobat Reader download icon Many of the documents on this web page are in PDF format and require the Adobe Reader Acrobat program to view them. Click the Acrobat Reader button to the left to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program.
Post Date
Health Alerts/Bulletins Index
Ongoing
Public
Health
Advisory
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) - Evolving Situation

The current Ebola outbreak is an evolving situation. While the risk of importation of Ebola into the United States is considered to be very low, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is working with local health departments to prepare in the event that a returning traveler from affected countries develops the illness.

Contact the Santa Cruz County Communicable Disease Unit (CDU) IMMEDIATELY at (831) 454-4114 if you suspect a patient has EVD. After hours, please call (831) 471-1170.

For Medical Providers:

On September 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, TX from Liberia.

Ongoing
Public
Health
Advisory
Enterovirus (EV-D68) Update for Medical Providers
The California Department of Public Health has confirmed 4 cases of EV-D68 cases in patients in San Diego (3) and Ventura (1) counties. These are the first confirmed cases in California in 2014 due to EV-D68. More cases are anticipated in the coming weeks.

What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68

For Medical Providers:
September 15, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
Order for Licensed Healthcare Facilities to Implement a Mandatory Influenza Prevention Program for Health Care Workers
State law requires that acute care hospitals and certain employers offer influenza vaccinations to employees or have the employee sign a declination statement if they choose not to be vaccinated. While compliance to these existing laws is high, actual HCW vaccination rates are not and may be below that which will blunt the spread of infection in a health care setting. Mandatory vaccination with masking policies have been shown to increase HCW vaccination rates to above 90%.
July 14, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
2014 West Nile Virus Update

West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected for the first time in 2014 in a dead bird found in the upper Rodeo Gulch Road area (Soquel hills).  This was an acute infection of WNV which indicates that there are mosquitoes in the area that can transmit the infection.


June 3, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
Pertussis Increase in Early 2014

Over 1,700 cases of pertussis have been reported to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in the first four months of 2014. This represents more than a 3-fold increase compared to the same time period in 2013. In Santa Cruz County, 12 cases of pertussis have been confirmed in the first quarter of 2014 compared to one case in the first quarter of 2013.
As of 5/30/14, we have had a total of 26 confirmed cases of pertussis. Statewide, teenagers appear to be the age group most affected by this illness.

Click here to view the entire public health advisory recommended for health provider

May 16, 2013
Press
Release
Mosquitoes are Taking Flight!

Dump and Drain

Fight the Bite!  

As many residents know, this spring the mosquitoes are worse than ever! Because the Watsonville sloughs dried in the winter, the fish that prey on the mosquito larva died also, so the mosquitoes are breeding thickly. Also, the miles of small streams throughout Santa Cruz County have slowed to a trickle, forming small pools where mosquitoes are breeding. The County is experiencing rapidly warming and lengthening days, and the light spring rains were just enough to leave standing water in gutters and low places. Stagnant rainwater left in buckets, birdbaths, and tires is warmed by the sun and becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes, hungry for blood. This time of year, mosquitoes breed anywhere and everywhere in water held by tarps, boat bilges, clogged drains, gutters and unmaintained swimming pools, spas, fountains and fish ponds.

Click here to view entire press release
 

May 9, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

The first case of MERS-CoV infection has been identified in a traveler from the United States. This new development was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 2, 2014. The patient is hospitalized in Indiana after having flown from Saudi Arabia to Chicago via London. 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 CDC. Neither organization has yet to issue travel warnings to any of the countries affected. We are asking physicians to increase their index of suspicion and to consider MERS-CoV infection in travelers from the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring countries.

Click here to view the entire public health advisory

May 1, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
Rabies Found in Dead Bat

INCIDENT
On April 30, 2014, a dead bat brought into the Public Health Laboratory by Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter officers, tested positive for rabies. The bat was handled by a young child. Public Health has recommended that the child be vaccinated against rabies.

INFORMATION

  • Do not touch a dead or injured bat. Call Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter at 831-454-7303 and they will remove it safely.

  • Children should be instructed to avoid approaching any unfamiliar animal. If you find an animal in distress, call the Animal Shelter.

  • Pets are also at risk for rabies. Be certain your dog or cat is up to date on their rabies vaccine. If you find your pet playing with an injured or wild animal that appears to be ill, notify your veterinarian and Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter immediately.

  • The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter is offering low-cost rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats. All city and county residents are welcome to use this service which will take place during the entire month of May. Residents can come to the Animal Shelter located at 2200 7th Ave. in Santa Cruz, Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5pm. No appointment is required. The cost is $5 for vaccination of dogs and cats. The Animal Shelter will also be offering $5 microchips for dogs and cats owned by city and county residents. Residents whose dogs are unlicensed must purchase a dog license to receive the low-cost rabies vaccine.

  • Rabies is a deadly disease. The human rabies vaccine series will provide protection against the disease if given as soon as possible after a bite by a rabid animal.

  • Residents are asked to report all animal bites to Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter at 831-454-7303.

Click here to view the entire public health advisory

April 11, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
for Medical
Providers
Proper Storage of Vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a new document, which consolidates the recommendations for Hib vaccine for both adults and children. Please go to http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr6301.pdf for complete guidance.

We would also like to bring to your attention that all vaccines must be properly stored in order for them to be effective. The EZIZ web site has a short graphic, which illustrates the best way to store vaccine. Please go to http://eziz.org/assets/docs/IMM-962.pdf for “Vaccine Refrigerator Setup” and to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/storage/default.htm for recommendations, guidelines and a toolkit for “Vaccine Storage & Handling”.

For a chart of the immunization schedule for children aged 0 to 18 years, please go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf.

For a chart of the immunization schedule for adults, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/adult/adult-combined-schedule.pdf.

Should you have any questions, please call Naomi Lobell, Immunization Coordinator, at 831-454-4646 or the Communicable disease Unit at 831-454-4114.

Click here to view the entire public health advisory which contains medical provider action

April 7, 2014
Public
Health
Warning

Sport-Harvested Shellfish Warning

CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Sport-Harvested Bivalve Shellfish, Anchovy or Sardines from Monterey or Santa Cruz Counties

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat commercially or recreationally caught anchovy or sardines, or the internal organs of commercially or recreationally caught crab taken from Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in some of these species and could be present in other species. Anchovy and sardines are of concern because the toxin resides in their digestive tracks. These fish are not usually gutted before they are eaten. CDPH is working with commercial fishermen in the area to ensure that recently caught sardines, anchovies and crab were not distributed into the human food supply.

This health advisory is in addition to the April 4 warning not to eat recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (such as mussels, clams or whole scallops) from Monterey or Santa Cruz counties due to dangerous levels of domoic acid in mussel samples.
That warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.

CDPH continues to collect bivalve shellfish, fin fish and crab samples from the area to monitor the level of domoic acid in seafood. There have no reported illnesses associated with this event.

Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma or death.

To receive updated information about shellfish poisoning and quarantines, call CDPH’s toll-free “Shellfish Information Line” at (800) 553-4133. For additional information visit CDPH’s Natural Marine Toxins: PSP and Domoic Acid Web page.

www.cdph.ca.gov

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

April 7, 2014

Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases

Spring is a time of high tick activity in our coastal hills and residents should be aware when spending time outdoors. Santa Cruz County Mosquito and Vector Control (SCCMVC) staff and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) collaborate to collect and test ticks in the County. At least 2% of Western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus) tested in recent years contain the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. In 2013, there were 5 reported cases of Lyme disease in Santa Cruz County, about the annual average (1.66 cases per 100,000 people).

The western black legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) and other human biting ticks found in Santa Cruz County such as the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis) may carry other tick-borne diseases. Thus, SCCMVC plans to conduct surveys for these tick species and will submit them to the CDPH for testing. Because of tick-borne disease risk, residents are advised to take precautions to protect themselves from tick bites.

The tick starts out as an egg then matures into a larva, nymph and adult stage over several years. The nymph life stage is active in spring and summer, and is found on tree trunks, fallen logs, wooden benches and in leaf litter and feed on smaller animals, but they will also attach to people and pets. Adult ticks are active in fall when they climb to the tips of vegetation, often alongside trails or paths, and attach themselves to hosts, such as deer, pets or humans that brush against them.

Ticks feed by sticking their mouthparts into the skin of their host and sucking blood. Infections such as Lyme disease may be transmitted when the feeding tick is attached for at least a day. Immature ticks are about the size of a pinhead, and may be missed without careful examination.

The risk of being bitten by ticks may be reduced with the following precautions:

  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck pant legs into boots or socks and tuck shirts into pants.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be easily seen.
  • Use a repellent registered for use against ticks; always follow label directions.
  • Stay in the middle of a trail and avoid logs, tree trunks, trail margins, brush and grassy areas.
  • Inspect yourself frequently while in tick habitat. Once out of tick habitat, thoroughly check your entire body and pets. Parents should examine their children, especially on the scalp and hairline.
  • Shower and launder clothes soon after activity in tick habitat.

To reduce the possibility of infection, remove attached ticks as soon as possible. Gently and firmly grasp the tick close to the head and pull it straight out, preferably with a tick tool or with fine-pointed tweezers. Save the tick for identification. Ticks should be kept alive by placing the tick into a sealable bag or container with a moist cotton ball in a refrigerator or cooler. The person removing the tick should wash their hands before and after removal and apply antiseptic to the bite area. Insecticides, Vaseline, lighted matches or gasoline should not be used to remove ticks because these techniques are ineffective or unsafe. Anyone who develops symptoms after being bitten by a tick should consult his or her physician.

Painful redness that occurs less than 24 hours after a tick bite and does not expand is likely a local allergic reaction to the tick bite. Early Lyme disease also has a rash but the Lyme disease rash appears three to 30 days after the tick bite, is often painless, and spreads to greater than 5 cm in diameter. The spreading rash can be accompanied by flu like symptoms, such as fever and body aches. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics and most patients recover without complications, particularly when the disease is diagnosed early. If left untreated, Lyme disease can progress to arthritis and in some cases serious nervous system problems.

Individuals should consult their physician immediately if symptoms similar to those described for Lyme disease develop within one to several weeks after being bitten by a tick.

Click here to view the entire press release

Additional information on Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases

April 7, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
for Medical
Providers
Measles Update for Providers

49 Measles Cases in the State of California in 2014
Look for Signs of this Highly Contagious Disease

Measles activity continues to be high in California this year. As of March 27, 2014, 49 confirmed measles cases with onset in 2014 had been reported to California Department of Public Health. In 2013, four measles cases had been reported by this date. Among the 2014 cases, 11 patients had traveled outside of North and South America with travel to the Philippines (n=8), India (n=2), or Vietnam (n=1). Of the patients without international travel, 30 had contact with known measles cases, 3 had contact with international travelers and 5 are under investigation to identify potential sources. Measles cases have occurred in both Northern and Southern California; however, the majority of cases are in Southern California (40/49). Several large contact investigations are ongoing.

Cases range in age from 5 months to 60 years. Of the 29 measles cases for whom vaccination records are available: 22 were unvaccinated (16 were intentionally unvaccinated, 3 were too young to be vaccinated, 3 were not vaccinated for unknown reasons), and seven had received appropriate vaccination. Immunization data collection is ongoing and vaccination status is preliminary. Transmission has occurred in the following settings: households, urgent care clinics, physician offices, hospitals, churches and schools.

There are 10 independent measles transmission chains. Four originated from imported cases (Philippines, n=4), two from cases who had contact with international travelers and four from cases with unknown source. A large measles outbreak is ongoing in the Philippines with over 15,000 cases in 2014, but measles is also circulating in many other countries outside of North and South America.

Updated measles case numbers are posted each Friday on the CDPH website

Click here to view the entire public health advisory which contains medical provider action

March 28, 2014
Press
Release
Influenza Update - The End of Flu Season 2013

Based on local influenza activity reports HSA Health Officer Lisa Hernandez MD, MPH is declaring an official end to the influenza season as of March 31, 2014. While you may continue to see cases of influenza, Dr Hernandez is assigning a specific date to the end of flu season to aid health care facilities in determining when unvaccinated employees may stop using masks.

From the current influenza season onward, the following order will be ongoing and will apply to each influenza season: At the start of each influenza season, through notification by the Health Officer, it will be mandated, that every health care facility and Emergency Medical Service provider in Santa Cruz County implement a program requiring that HCWs receive an annual influenza vaccine or, if they decline, wear a mask during the entire flu season while working in patient care areas.

Click here to view the entire public health press release
 

Feb. 25, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
Acute flaccid Paralysis Cases in California

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has received several requests for testing of viral agents in cases of unexplained acute flaccid paralysis. Many of these cases are described as “polio-like” syndromes. Several features of these cases indicate an infectious etiology. Thus far, testing has not revealed a single etiology. Testing has been hampered by incomplete specimens, samples taken late after onset of symptoms, and serum draws after IV immunoglobulin has been administered.

Locally, the Public Health Department has not received any reports of cases within our county. However, we are supplying the case definition and lab submittal procedures for local providers in the event that we have a local case.

Click here to view the entire public health advisory which contains clinician action and case definition
 

Feb. 21, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
Measles Update

In the last two months, there has been increased measles activity in our region.  Our Communicable Disease Unit (CD) responded to one measles case at the end of December 2013.  This one case generated eighty-eight (88) contact investigations by our CD staff and one hundred eleven (111) contact investigations for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

We are currently monitoring eight (8) contacts to two (2) cases of measles which originated elsewhere. 

Click here to view the entire public health advisory
 

Jan. 13, 2014
Public
Health
Advisory
Influenza Update

The first confirmed death due to influenza infection has occurred in Santa Cruz County in a male under the age of 50. Two suspect influenza deaths, in two males under the age of 50, have not yet been confirmed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The Public Health Department has received official reports of five patients under the age of 65 admitted to the ICU with confirmed influenza. One of these five is the first confirmed death due to influenza. There are five additional suspect influenza cases in ICU under investigation.

INFORMATION

  • CDPH has reported seven confirmed influenza deaths statewide in persons under the age of 65. Twenty-eight more deaths are under investigation. Influenza deaths in persons over the age of 65 are not reportable in California.

  • The H1N1 strain appears to be the predominant strain so far this flu season and is contained in this year’s flu vaccine.

  • There is no shortage of vaccine and it is not too late to get vaccinated.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Get vaccinated.

  • If you do get sick, limit contact with others.

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Those at high risk (the elderly, pregnant women, infants or those with other health conditions) who show flu symptoms should contact their physician immediately in order to get the most effective treatment. Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Click here to view the entire public health advisory
 

Aug 30, 2013
Press
Release
West Nile Virus (WNV) Update

WEST NILE VIRUS RISK INCREASES- MOSQUITOES INFECTED  

MOSQUITOES AND BIRDS CARRY VIRUS

WATSONVILLE, CALIFORNIA - - Santa Cruz County Mosquito and Vector Control is reporting that for the first time in our County, a mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile virus, a bird virus spread by mosquitoes that can also infect people and animals. The mosquitoes were collected in the Freedom Boulevard area south of Green Valley Road, from a trap placed on Landis Avenue. In addition, one positive dead bird was collected earlier this month from the Thurber Lane area of Santa Cruz.

Click here to view entire press release
 

Sept. 4, 2012
Public
Health
Update

Reporting a Dead Bird

Reporting a Dead Bird Video
CDPH Reports First Human West Nile Virus Case of 2012

Nov. 16, 2011
Press
Release

Poisonous Wild Mushroom Warning

View Press Release

  • Santa Cruz County received the second report this year of a hospitalized person who became seriously ill after eating mushrooms collected in the La Selva Beach area.
  • Both illnesses were probably due to the mushroom Amanita phalloides.
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Wild mushrooms should not be eaten unless they have been determined edible by a recognized mushroom expert.
  • Individuals who develop any of these symptoms--abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, and/or diarrhea after eating wild mushrooms should immediately contact the California Poison Control System at 1-800-8-POISON (1-800-876-4766) or 1-800-222-1222 and seek immediate medical attention.  

INFORMATION

  • In past years, multiple hospitalizations, gastrointestinal illnesses and even deaths, have been caused by the consumption of wild mushrooms.
  • The deaths have been linked to the Amanita ocreata mushroom, also known as the “destroying angel” and the Amanita phalloides mushroom, commonly called the “death cap” mushroom. · Poisonous mushrooms are found throughout Santa Cruz County. The most common are:
    • Amanita phalloides
    • Amanita ocreata
    • Galerina autumalis (deadly)
  • Eating poisonous mushrooms can cause abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage resulting in the need for liver transplant, and death-- the symptoms usually occur 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. After gastrointestinal symptoms subside, liver damage may appear.

Mushroom resources recommended by the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz County are: http://www.fungusfed.org, www.namyco.org and www.mykoweb.com.

Sept. 20, 2011
Press
Release

Emergency Survival Guide

In recognition of September's designation as National Preparedness Month, the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Health has just completed a comprehensive guide to emergency preparedness intended to help the residents of Santa Cruz County prepare for, respond to, and recover from the disasters that affect our region. 

Public
Health
Warnings

Food/Product Recalls

Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts - A comprehensive, up-to-date list of all food and product recalls from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Posted 8/10/10: Recall of Ground Beef Products From Valley Meat Company

Previous Food/Product Recalls

March 11, 2009 Proper Disposal of Household Medications and Sharps

The County of Santa Cruz is pleased to offer residents a safe, free and environmentally responsible way to get rid of household medications and sharps.


                                Click here for detailed information about Sharp Solutions

 

 

Bulletin and Alert Archive

Image of Adobe Acrobat Reader download icon Many of the documents on this web page are in PDF format and require the Adobe Reader Acrobat program to view them. Click the Acrobat Reader button to the left to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

  The Great Seal of the County of Santa Cruz.

   Mailing Address: County of Santa Cruz  Health Services Agency
   1080 Emeline Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 | Phone: 831 454 4000 | Fax: 831 454 4770
   Hearing Impaired TDD: 831 454 2123 | copyright© 2004 County of Santa Cruz

 
County of Santa Cruz Home Site - Disclaimer - Site Index - Contact Us - Feedback