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.

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

February 28, 2019

Advisory

CDPH Measles Clinical Guidance

Measles continues to circulate in much of the world, including Europe, Asia and Africa. International travel, domestic travel through international airports, and contact with international visitors can pose a risk for exposure to measles. Recent measles outbreaks in other states have sparked concern about the risk to Californians. However, to date, all measles cases in the current Clark County, Washington measles outbreak were exposed locally, with little risk to Californians unless they travel to Clark County.

While providers should consider measles in patients with fever and a descending rash, measles is unlikely in the absence of confirmed measles cases in your community or a history of travel or exposure to travelers. This guidance discusses which patients should be prioritized for measles testing

January 31, 2019

Advisory

Discharge Guidelines for Patients Experiencing Homelessness

Effective January 1, 2019, California Health & Safety Code Section 1262.5 requires general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals and special      hospitals to offer the following to patients experiencing homelessness prior to discharge:Screening or referrals “for infectious disease common to the region, as determined by the local health department” Immunizations appropriate to their “presenting medical condition”

The full advisory provides joint guidance to hospitals within the local health jurisdictions of Alameda County and the City of Berkeley to comply with   Section 1262.5.

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