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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Advisory

ADVISORY: provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.

May 26, 2017

Advisory

Increased Norovirus Activity in School Settings

Alameda County and California are experiencing an unusually large proportion of reported gastrointestinal illness outbreaks among students and staff in school settings. This has been attributed to a new strain of
Norovirus that has been circulating in Europe and Asia since last year and is now in the US and CA. Infection spreads quickly in settings where people are in close contact with each other, such as cruise ships, health care facilities, daycare centers, schools and summer camps. The most important steps to prevent the spread of Norovirus in schools are to ensure that:

  1. Ill persons stay home while sick and for another 48 hours after symptoms go away.
  2. Everyone regularly washes hands especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
  3. Contaminated and frequently-touched objects and surfaces are thoroughly and frequently cleaned with an approved disinfectant, as Norovirus can survive for many days on surfaces.

May 17, 2017

Advisory

Foodborne Botulism Outbreak

From mid-April through May 16, 2017, 10 cases of foodborne botulism have been reported to Sacramento, San Joaquin, Colusa and Solano county public health departments. Cases consumed nacho cheese sauce from the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove (Sacramento County). No cases of botulism from this outbreak have been reported in Alameda County residents, but Alameda County residents who consumed prepared food at the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove until May 6 may still develop symptoms. Providers are asked to consider botulism in patients with compatible neurological symptoms and to report suspected cases immediately to the Alameda County Health Department.

November 02, 2016

Advisory

Recall of Frozen Strawberries from Egypt Potentially Contaminated with Hepatitis A

CA Department of Public Health has issued a Health Advisory on 11/2/16 providing Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Recommendations for persons who may have consumed recalled Frozen Strawberries potentially contaminated with Hepatitis A.

A large recall of frozen Egyptian strawberries that have been distributed widely in the United States, including California, has been issued due to the possibility of hepatitis A virus (HAV) contamination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local officials have been investigating an outbreak of HAV linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt. Alameda County Environmental Health & Public Health are conducting follow-up notifications of all Alameda County Facilities known to receive this product, and will work with facilities to ensure any remaining product has been destroyed and identify any persons with potential exposures that occurred within the last 14 days that are recommended to receive Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

Additional detailed guidance regarding Hepatitis A PEP are in attached advisory.

October 24, 2016

Advisory

Zika Virus Disease Updated Advisory

As of 9/16/16, the CDC has described the characteristics of 2,382 confirmed or probable cases of Zika virus disease with symptom onset during January 1–July 31, 2016. Most (99%) cases were travel-associated, with 98% reporting travel to an area with Zika transmission, and 1% reporting sexual contact with a returning traveler. United States acquired cases included 26 mosquito-borne cases, one laboratory-acquired infection, and one patient with unknown transmission mode. Sixty-five (3%) patients were hospitalized, and one died. For details, please see http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6536e5.

Alameda County has reported 20 cases of Zika virus infections & California has reported 348 (including 43 pregnant women, and 2 infants with birth defects, and 3 due to sexual transmission) as of 10/21/16. All California cases are travel-associated, with no locally acquired mosquito borne transmission.

Local Case Counts

For updated information on Zika cases in Alameda County and California, please refer to ACPHD Zika website. Case counts will be updated weekly on Fridays.

Areas with Active Mosquito-Borne Zika Transmission

For information on areas of the world, including parts of the United States, with active Zika virus transmission, please refer to http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html

This Zika health advisory summarizes key updates since the last Zika health advisory on 8/6/16. The key updates include new information and guidance for prevention of sexual and travel- associated Zika transmission, Zika testing criteria and availability, and specialty society clinical practice guidelines for managing pregnant women, fetal evaluation, and evaluating and managing infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection. We will be issuing further health advisory updates as relevant information becomes available.

August 10, 2016

Advisory

Zika Virus Disease Updated Advisory

As of 8/3/2016, CDC reports 1818 travel-associated Zika infections in the continental U.S., including 479 infections in pregnant women, 16 sexually transmitted infections, and 5 patientswith Guillain-Barré syndrome. One laboratory-acquired infection has been reported. Florida has reported 6 non-travel associated Zika cases due to local mosquito transmission. As of 7/28/16, 15 liveborn infants with birth defects and 6 pregnancy losses associated with Zika have been reported in the continental U.S.

As of 8/5/16 California reports 134 cases including 1 due to sexual transmission, 23 pregnant women, and 2 infants with birth defects. All CA cases have been travel associated; 10 of the 134 cases are in Alameda County. See https://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Zika.aspx for weekly updated case counts.  See http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.htm for current list of Zika-affected areas.

New information on Zika infection continues to emerge and guidelines for Zika virus testing have been updated by the CDC on 7/25/16. This health advisory summarizes key updates since the last Zika health advisory on 4/1/16 and includes new information and guidance for Zika virus testing in pregnant women in Alameda County as well as updates in interim guidance for prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus for couples in which one partner has traveled to or resides in an area with active Zika transmission.

For health care providers:

June 27, 2016

Advisory

Meningococcal Outbreak in Southern California

Since May 2016, nine confirmed cases of Meningococcal disease, including one death, have been reported in men living in Southern California, most of who were men who have sex with men (MSM). Six of the cases are known to be caused by serogroup C and one additional case is awaiting serogroup identification. This represents a substantial increase above the typical number of reported cases. Persons with HIV infection are known to be at risk of Meningococcal disease and vaccines are urged for adult gay and bisexual men at risk, and for all people with HIV. This advisory provides background information and Meningococcal vaccine recommendations to help clinicians safely address the current Meningococcal disease outbreak.

June 13, 2016

Advisory

Bicillin L-A (Benzathine Penicillin G) Shortage

On April 29th, 2016, a Bicillin L-A (Benzathine Penicillin G) drug shortage was announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Benzathine penicillin G is the recommended treatment for syphilis and the only recommended treatment for pregnant women infected with or exposed to syphilis. Other formulations of penicillin, including Bicillin C-R, are not acceptable alternatives to Bicillin L-A for syphilis treatment. The manufacturer estimates the Bicillin L-A shortage will last until at least July, 2016. This advisory provides recommended actions and resources to help clinicians safely address the current Bicillin L-A drug shortage.

April 01, 2016

Advisory

Zika Virus Disease Updated Advisory

Zika virus transmission continues in Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania/Pacific Islands and Cape Verde in Africa. As of 3/29/2016, two Alameda County residents have been confirmed by laboratory testing to have had travel-associated Zika virus infection. On 3/25/2016, The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the first confirmed Zika virus case in California acquired through sexual contact with a partner with travel-associated Zika-infection. As of 3/25/16, CDPH began diagnostic Plaque Reduction Neutralization Testing (PRNT) for Zika virus on serology specimens, which no longer require confirmatory testing at CDC.

New information on Zika infection continues to emerge and guidelines for Zika virus testing have been updated. This health advisory summarizes key updates since the last Zika health advisory on 3/11/16 and includes new information and guidance for Zika virus testing in Alameda County.

For travelers:

For health care providers:

March 11, 2016

Advisory

Zika Virus Disease Updated Advisory

Zika virus transmission continues in Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania/Pacific Islands and Cape Verde in Africa. New information on Zika infection continues to emerge and guidelines for Zika virus testing have been revised, including the addition of more testing capabilities of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory (VRDL). This health advisory summarizes key updates since the last Zika health advisory on 2/11/16 and includes new information and guidance for Zika virus testing in Alameda County. As of 3/11/16, one Alameda County resident has been confirmed by laboratory testing to have had travel-associated Zika virus infection. Health care providers should consider testing for Zika virus infection in the following persons  with a potential Zika virus exposure:

  • Zika Virus symptoms within two weeks of exposure
  • Asymptomatic pregnant women
  • Infants born to a mother with a potential Zika virus exposure
  • Patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Potential Zika virus exposure is defined as (a) travel to areas with active Zika Virus transmission in the 2 weeks before symptoms onset; or (b) condomless sexual contact with a male partner who traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission and had symptoms of Zika disease during travel or within 2 weeks of return.

For travelers:

For health care providers:

March 01, 2016

Advisory

Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse - Opioids

Please distribute to all providers in your practice.

Prescription drug misuse and overdose is a national epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nationally, each year, prescription narcotics result in more fatal overdoses than heroin and cocaine combined and, in 2015, surpassed auto accidents as the number one cause of accidental deaths. In California, deaths involving opioid prescription drugs have increased 16.5 percent since 2006. In 2012, there were more than 1,800 deaths from all types of opioids – 72 percent involved prescription opioids. In Alameda County, deaths from opioid misuse tripled between 2005 and 2014 and hospitalizations for opioid-related, non-fatal overdoses increased by over 74 percent. This advisory provides actions and resources to help clinicians safely prescribe opioid prescriptions.

February 11, 2016

Advisory

Zika Virus Disease Updated Advisory

Zika virus transmission continues in Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania/Pacific Islands and Cape Verde in Africa. New information on Zika infection continues to emerge and guidelines for Zika virus testing have been revised, including specific revisions for testing in pregnant woman. This health advisory summarizes key updates since the last Zika health advisory on 1/29/16 and includes new information and guidance for Zika virus testing in Alameda County. In California, six travel-associated Zika cases were reported between 2013 and 2015. On 2/9/16, ACPHD confirmed an Alameda County resident has preliminarily tested positive for the Zika virus. The person was infected with Zika virus while traveling in a Zika-affected country. Health care providers should consider testing for Zika virus infection in persons with a compatible clinical illness and pregnant women with recent travel to affected areas.

For travelers:

For health care providers:

 

January 29, 2016

Advisory

Zika Virus Disease and Current Travel-Associated Viral Diseases of Concern

Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been reported in 24 countries and territories in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania/Pacific Islands. Zika virus causes a mild illness in 20% of those infected, with symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes beginning within 14 days of travel to a country with Zika virus transmission.  Additionally, in Brazil and other countries with Zika virus transmission, an unusual increase in the number of infants born with microcephaly has been reported.  The virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is not native to California but has been detected in 12 California counties. Thus far, the few Zika virus disease cases reported in Californians have occurred in returning travelers; no local transmission has been identified.  Health care providers should obtain travel histories from patients with a febrile illness, and consider testing for dengue fever, chikungunya, or Zika virus disease in persons with a compatible clinical presentation and a history of travel to Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania/Pacific Islands.  Providers should counsel patients who are pregnant or who are attempting to become pregnant about special travel precautions and preventing mosquito bites.

For travelers:

For health care providers:

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