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Health Advisories & Alerts

Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Injuries Reported Nationwide - 08/28/2019                                                          Since late June, more than 200 cases of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarette use have been reported by 23 states, including 36 cases in California. The first death related to the outbreak of severe lung disease in those who use  e-cigarette or “vaping” devices was reported this week. No cases have been reported to date in Imperial County.

Two Cases of St. Louis Encephalitis Reported in Imperial County - 8/21/2019                                                       Two Imperial County residents were confirmed with St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), a viral disease spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. These are the first human cases of SLE reported in Califronia in 2019. The individuals were admitted to a local hospital in late July with severe headache, fever and nausea, and were diagnosed with viral meningitis. The California Department of Public Health laboratory later confirmed SLE.

Increase in Pertussis Cases in Imperial County - 8/1/2019                                                                                          An increase in cases of pertussis, also known as whopping cough, has been reported coutywide in recent weeks. Twenty-one lab-confirmed cases have been reported in Imperial County since January. Cases range in age from eight months to 80 years (median age: 3 years).

Measles Cases Increase in U.S. - 5/2/2019 
Measles continues to circulate in many countries, 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. When measles is imported into the United States, additional transmission can occur locally.
Three Influenza-Associated Deaths Reported - 2/14/2019
Another death due to influenza was reported in early February, bringing the total number of influenza-associated deaths in Imperial County to three so far in the 2018-2019 flu season. A 64-year-old woman who was hospitalized in San Diego died from complications of influenza. It is unknown whether she had any underlying medical conditions or if she had been vaccinated against influenza.
Imperial County Reports Two Influenza-Associated Deaths - 1/29/2019
Two deaths due to influenza have been reported to date during the 2018-2019 flu season in Imperial County. 
The most recent case was a 53-year-old man who was ill with pneumonia. He was positive for influenza A.  It is unknown whether he had been vaccinated. 
The first case was reported in late November in a 63-year-old woman with multiple underlying health issues.  Laboratory testing confirmed influenza A virus. The individual had not received flu vaccine this season, according to hospital records.
Wound Botulism Case Associated with Black Tar Heroin - 11/30/2018
One highly suspect case of wound botulism associated with black tar heroin injection has been reported in Imperial County. The case presented to the emergency department with an abscess and a recent history of skin or muscle popping black tar heroin. Symptoms included nausea, vomiting, dizziness, slurred speech, hoarseness, dry mouth, dysphagia, ptosis, and generalized weakness. Patient has been treated with Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (BAT®) released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and specimens have been submitted to the Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory (VRDL) for confirmation.
Meningococcal Disease Outbreak at SDSU-San Diego Campus - 10/01/2018
Two San Diego State University undergraduate students have been hospitalized with serogroup B meningococcal disease this semester, prompting the San Diego County public health officer to declare an outbreak on campus. The most recent case is a male undergraduate student who became symptomatic with meningitis on September 25, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced. Testing done at the California Department of Public Health lab identified the cause of the illness as serogroup B meningococcus, the same bacteria that hospitalized a female SDSU undergraduate earlier this month.
Health Issues Associated with Travel to Middle East - 09/06/2018
Health departments are investigating suspect cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in individuals returning to the US after attending Hajj, which ended August 24.  The Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is one of the world’s largest mass gatherings. In 2018, Hajj took place from August 19 to August 24.
College Students Potentially Exposed to Neisseria Meningitidis - 12/11/17
Five laboratory-confirmed cases of invasive Neisseria meningitidis infection have been reported among students at Oregon State University. The Imperial County Public Health Department is urging health-care providers to be vigilant for suspect cases in students returning home for winter break or others who have recently visited the campus.
Immunize to Prevent and Control Hepatitis A Outbreaks - 07/19/17
Outbreaks of hepatitis A disease are currently ongoing in two California counties in persons who are homeless and/or using illicit drugs. In San Diego County at least 228 cases and 5 deaths have been reported since November 2016. In Santa Cruz County at least 27 cases have been reported since April 2017. Cases due to the same strain of hepatitis A virus (HAV) have been identified in both counties as well as in Arizona and Utah.
lue-Green Algae Blooms Can Pose Health Risk - 03/09/17
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have been detected blooming along the northern shore of the Salton Sea. Low levels of cyanobacteria are reported in this region, and additional testing is being conducted in other areas of the Salton Sea. High levels of the cyanobacteria can pose health risks for humans and animals. A harmful algal bloom (HAB) occurs when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, typically forming visible patches that may harm the health of the environment, plants, or animals.
Locally Acquired Zika Virus Detected in Baja California - 02/08/17
The first confirmed case of local transmission of Zika virus in northern Baja California was reported this week in the city of Ensenada, located on the coast south of San Diego County. Zika virus continues to spread worldwide. While no confirmed cases of travel-related or locally acquired Zika infection have been reported in Imperial County, the Public Health Department is working with local health-care providers to closely monitor suspect cases of Zika infection.
CAHAN Health Notification - Recall of Frozen Strawberries - 11/3/16
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.
Updated Interim Guidance for Health-Care Providers Caring for Pregnant Women with Possible Zika Virus Exposure
Zika virus continues to spread worldwide. Fifty countries and territories have reported active Zika virus transmission (locations with mosquitoes transmitting Zika virus to persons in the area). Although most persons with Zika virus infection are asymptomatic or have mild clinical disease, infection during pregnancy can cause congenital microcephaly and other brain defects. Zika virus has also been linked to other adverse pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth.
Zika Causes Microcephaly and Other Birth Defects
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. The study findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The finding that Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects means that a woman who is infected with Zika during pregnancy has an increased risk of having a baby with these health problems.
Drug Overdose Health Alert
Drug overdoses and deaths believed to be associated with consumption of an illicitly obtained opioid drug have been reported in several jurisdictions in California over the past two weeks. Health officials suspect that the overdoses and deaths are linked to a drug that strongly resembles the prescription opioid drug Norco, but actually contained an undetermined amount of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic more potent than morphine.
CDPH Zika Virus Health Advisory 1-19-16
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing including Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Zika Virus Fact Sheet         Zika Virus Fact Sheet (Spanish)
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is urging the public to protect themselves against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases if traveling to Mexico or Latin America. These regions reported increased chikungunya and continued dengue transmission in 2014, and reported cases of these mosquito-borne diseases among travelers returning to California have increased.
Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes Detected in Imperial County
Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes have been detected for the first time in Imperial County. These mosquitoes are the principal vectors of dengue virus, chikungunya virus, yellow fever, and other diseases.
Measles Outbreak Update 1/20/15
The recent cases of measles in Southern California highlight the need for the public and health-care providers to be vigilant about measles. More than three dozen confirmed cases of measles in California have been linked to exposure at Disneyland during December 17-20, 2014.
Influenza A H3N2 Drifted Cases Detected in Imperial County
Influenza is unpredictable with different flu viruses spreading and causing illness every season. So far this season, influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been found circulating most frequently and have been detected in almost all states. 
CDPH Guidance - Ebola Guidelines for Outpatient and Ambulatory Care Settings
Although a great deal of Ebola preparedness and response activity is currently focused on acute care hospitals, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recognizes the importance of outpatient and ambulatory care settings (clinics, physician offices) in the healthcare system.
Enterovirus D68 Advisory
A lab-confirmed case of enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) infection was reported this week in a child residing in Imperial County. The child, who was hospitalized earlier this month for a severe respiratory illness, has since recovered and was discharged from the hospital.
Evaluating Cases for Ebola Virus
The first known case of Ebola with illness onset and laboratory confirmation in the United States occurred in Texas, during September 2014, in a traveler from Liberia. 
Helados La Tapatia, Inc. Retira Productos Debido a un Posible Riesgo de Salud
Helados La Tapatia, Inc. de Fresno, California, esta retirando voluntariamente todos los productos de helados, helados de agua, barras de fruta/los vasos de frutas y bolis debido a un posible riesgo para la salud de Listeria Monocytogenes. Helados La Tapatia, Inc., esta coordinando estrechamente con los funcionarios reguladores.
For detailed information pertaining to this Recalls, MarketWithdrawals, and Safety Alerts message, please click the link at the beginning of this bulletin.
CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Three Varieties of CJ Foodville USA, Inc. Cookies Due to Undeclared Wheat Allergens News Release - 03/20/2014
SACRAMENTO – Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, today warned consumers with wheat allergies not to eat three varieties of CJ Foodville USA, Inc. cookies.
CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Five Varieties of Del Castillo Foods Mexican Pastries Due to Undeclared Milk Allergens
SACRAMENTO -- California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Ron Chapman today warned consumers with milk allergies not to eat five varieties of Del Castillo Foods Mexican pastries.
CDPH Advierte a Consumidores Que No Coman Cierto Producto De Pasteles de la Marca Del Castillo
Health Alert Mercury Poisonings from Mexican creams May 2014
Certain skin-lightening or acne creams from Mexico have caused multiple cases of mercury poisoning throughout California. Mercury Poisonings from Mexico Creams Flyer'
Local death due to Rocky Mountain spotted fever
A local woman passed away last week due to Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). This is the first case of RMSF reported in Imperial County. The individual sought care at a local hospital in May after becoming ill with fever, nausea, vomiting, and hypotension, but did not recover.