The Alameda County Public Health Department sends out Health Alerts, Advisories, and Updates regarding communicable disease outbreaks, immunization updates, and other public health concerns to Alameda County clinicians and other partners. See recent releases below.

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Health Care Provider AC Alert Registration Form: Health Updates, Advisories, and Alerts, as well as other pertinent information, are sent out to healthcare providers and other relevant contacts in Alameda County through a Public Health-specific subscription in AC Alert. Healthcare providers can register to receive these communications.

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Health Alerts

ALERT conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
ADVISORY provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
UPDATE provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.

January 22, 2020

Alert

Novel Corona Virus 2019 – Wuhan Pneumonia Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health update on January 17, 2020 about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov). This CDC HAN Update provides a situational update and guidance that supersedes the January 8, 2020 HAN. It adds guidance for evaluation of patients under investigation (PUI) for 2019-nCoV, prevention and infection control guidance, including the addition of a recommendation for eye protection, and additional information on specimen collection and testing.

The first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the United States is a healthy male in his 30s in Washington State, who arrived at Seattle-Tacoma Airport on January 15, 2020 after traveling to Wuhan.

Local suspect cases should be reported immediately by phone to Public Health. Resources for providers, including travel alert posters and a checklist for clinicians managing patients who may have 2019-nCoV, are available online from the CDC.

Reporting

Alameda County Acute Communicable Disease Control:

  • Weekdays 8:30am–5pm Phone: (510) 267-3250
  • After hours Phone: (925) 422-7595 and ask for the public health duty officer on call.

Berkeley Public Health Division:

  • Weekdays 8am-5pm Phone: (510) 981-5292
  • After hours: Phone: (510) 981-5911 and ask for the Health Officer on call.

For more information, please see the full CDC Heatlh Update and Alameda County Guidance Checklist:

January 03, 2020

Advisory

Fentanyl Overdose

The increased availability of illicitly-produced fentanyl, fentanyl-compounds, and fake pills is an emerging and ongoing threat to public health and safety. In 2019, 51 opioid-related deaths were reported in Alameda County from January 1, 2019 to December 16, 2019.

Many fentanyl overdoses occur among persons who may be aware that they are using fentanyl or a related substance. However, there have been recent anecdotal reports in Alameda County of an increasing number of suspected fentanyl overdoses among persons without a history of opioid use, such as cocaine and methamphetamine users. Many persons who choose to use stimulants are unaware of the emergence of fentanyl laced compound drugs in the overall Bay Area drug supply, and the powerful potency of fentanyl. In addition, many opioid pills, which are made to look like real prescription medications, are now made by counterfeiting organizations and may contain fentanyl.

Death from fentanyl toxicity can be more rapid than from other opioids, and overdoses may require more naloxone for reversal than other opioids – prompt peer response is essential. In addition, there are concerns regarding the increase in synthetic opioid and fentanyl derivatives that may be longer-acting, and may not be detected in routine urine toxicology screens. This alert provides awareness and actions for all health care providers in Alameda County to take when presented with a suspected or confirmed opioid overdose case at their facility.

Please see the full Health Advisory for more information, including actions requested of clinicians.

December 03, 2019

Update

Congenital Syphilis (CS) Screening Guidelines for Pregnant Women

Syphilis rates are rising in Alameda County, across California, and throughout the country. Nationally, the rate of congenital syphilis has risen 40% in the last year alone, to a rate of 33 per 100,000 live births in 2018. California has the fifth-highest rate of congenital syphilis in the country, with 68 cases per 100,000 live births in 2018. In Alameda County in 2017, the rate of congenital syphilis was 26 per 100,000 live births. Healthcare providers treating pregnant women can prevent congenital syphilis by following CDC recommended screening and treatment guidelines for pregnant women living in communities with high syphilis prevalence.

Please see the full Health Update for more information, including actions requested of clinicians.

October 02, 2019

Advisory

Reminder regarding Mandatory Flu Vaccination or Masking of Health Care Workers During Every Influenza Season

Health Officers for Alameda County and the City of Berkeley are reminding health care providers and their employers regarding their joint Health Officer order (originally dated Aug. 28, 2013) mandating that all licensed health care facilities in Alameda County and the City of Berkeley require their health care workers (HCWs) to receive an annual influenza vaccination or, if they decline, wear a mask during every influenza season while working in patient care areas. Influenza season dates are defined as November 1 to April 30 of the following year. This order is ongoing and applies to each influenza season, unless rescinded or modified.

Please see the full Joint Advisory for more information.

October 01, 2019

Update

Updates to Reportable Disease Requirements

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated the California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Sections 2500 and 2505, which govern reporting requirements for healthcare providers and laboratories. Changes to Section 2500 provider reporting requirements are summarized in this Health Update. More information about disease reporting in Alameda County, including Section 2505 laboratory reporting requirements, can be found on our Reportable Diseases & Conditions website. Changes to both sections 2500 and 2505 go into effect October 1, 2019.

The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) has additional reporting requirements beyond those of the state’s, and as such, clinicians and healthcare facilities must follow Alameda County-specific disease reporting requirements.

Please see the full Health Update for more information and updated recommendation for providers.

September 04, 2019

Advisory

Vaping Associated Pulmonary Injury

This is an update to our 8/22nd Vaping Associated Pulmonary Injury (VAPI) Joint Health Advisory. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to work with local health departments to investigate cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping cannabis and working to analyze vaping products recovered from patients. This advisory includes a revised case definition and requested actions of clinicians.

Please see the full Joint Advisory for more information and updated recommendation for providers.

Full Joint Health Advisory from Alameda County and the City of Berkeley

September 03, 2019

Update

Tuberculosis Health Update: Screening for Healthcare Personnel & Nationwide Tuberculin Skin Test Shortage

Several updates regarding tuberculosis (TB) have been sent to healthcare facilities in the past few months by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) is releasing this health update to provide a brief summary of two of these notifications: 1) CDPH All Facilities Letter 19–28 regarding TB Screening for Healthcare Personnel; and 2) CDC Nationwide Shortage of TB Skin Test Antigens.

Please see the full Tuberculosis Health Update for more information.

Full Tuberculosis Health Update

August 22, 2019

Advisory

Severe Acute Pulmonary Disease Associated with Cannabis or Cannabidiol Oil Vaping

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is working with local health departments to investigate cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping cannabis and working to analyze vaping products recovered from patients. Nearly all patients reported vaping cannabis products in the weeks prior to hospital admission. Since June 2019, at least 20 cases of severe acute pulmonary disease in previously healthy adults were reported in California. Cases were first identified as a cluster of patients seen in Kings County.  Cases are among residents of multiple counties in Northern and Southern California.

See Full Advisory for more information and recommendations for providers.

Full Joint Health Advisory from Alameda County and the City of Berkeley

August 01, 2019

Advisory

Travel Associated Diseases: Ebola, Dengue, Malaria, and Measles

Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) and the City of Berkeley Public Health Division (COBPHD) regularly receive reports of malaria, dengue, and measles in persons with a history of international travel. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has also re-emerged in an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As the early symptoms of these diseases are non-specific, travel history is essential for timely diagnosis. Patients may not be aware of pre-travel recommendations for measles immunization or malaria chemoprophylaxis; proactive questioning about planned or recent travel assists with prevention, appropriate infection control, and diagnosis.

Please see the Full Travel Associated Diseases Health Advisory for more information and an outline of actions requested of Healthcare Professionals.

Full Travel Associated Diseases Health Advisory

May 20, 2019

Alert

Measles

Current Situation:

The City of Berkeley has 1 confirmed case of measles in a Berkeley adult resident. This individual is no longer contagious. This resident spent time at a few public venues during the infectious period (05/05/19 – 5/13/19), and it is not possible to identify every individual who may have been exposed. One location where there was prolonged exposure was the Berkeley Bowl located on Oregon Street. The resident visited the establishment on May 7th between 3 and 5 pm.

Please see the Full Measles Health Alert for more information and an outline of actions requested of Healthcare Professionals.

Full Measles Health Alert

April 08, 2019

Advisory

Measles in Alameda County

Situation Update for Alameda County:

  • An individual infectious for measles visited an Alameda county restaurant 3/23/2019. See the March 28, 2019 Media Release Restaurant Exposure for more information.
  • New cases can develop in the 7-21 days after exposure to this and other recent cases.

Clinicians are requested to consider/suspect measles in patients with a rash and fever ≥101°F (38.3°C) regardless of travel history. Ask about measles vaccination and exposure to known measles cases, international travel, or international visitors in the three weeks prior to illness. Please see complete Clinician Guidance in the full Health Advisory.

Full Measles Health Advisory

March 29, 2019

Update

Chronic Hepatitis B Infection: Call for Testing, Vaccinating and Providing Treatment

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is highly infectious and transmitted via blood or sexual contact. Persons with chronic HBV infection (presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), HBV DNA, or Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) for at least 6 months) require medical care as they are at increased risk for liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death. It is estimated that there are over 23,000 cases of chronic hepatitis B infection in Alameda County, yet there are only about 8,000 cases documented in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE). Approximately 1 in 12 people born in countries where hepatitis B is endemic and living in Alameda County is potentially chronically infected. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) asks clinicians to:

  • Test Patients for hepatitis B infection
  • Vaccinate those who are susceptible
  • Provide guideline-driven evaluation, monitoring and treatment for persons with chronic HBV

 

Hep B ACPHD Health Update - March 2019

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