County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - April 2019

Public Health Newsletter - April 2019
Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 7 - Issue 4 - April 2019
In this Issue: Measles | Aspirin | STI | WIC | Message from the Public Health Officer
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A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Measles in California 

In 2019, two outbreaks linked to patients with international travel have been reported in California, and over 700 cases have been reported nationally.   This week, Marin County parents received this letter, outlining the public health measure of excluding unvaccinated children from school if there is a case on campus.  The California Department of Public Health has issued updated measles clinical guidance.  For more information on measles in Marin County, click here.

An Aspirin (Apple) a Day ... 

Last month, the American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association released a national guideline on aspirin use in the primary prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD).  Based upon cardiovascular risk, adults as young as 40 years old may benefit from daily aspirin.   On the other hand, it is no longer recommended to start or continue aspirin for primary prevention.  Aspirin is still recommended at any age for clinical ASCVD.  As guidelines change, healthy eating and active living remain the mainstay for cardiovascular and diabetes prevention.

STI Treatment Is Prevention            

During the past six years, Marin County has seen a significant rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in all groups, and particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM).  As part of April's STD Awareness campaign, the California Department of Public Health is encouraging providers to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea in MSM.  The most common symptom of an STI is no symptoms at all.  Therefore, risk-based STD screening is critical to reduce STI prevalence in our community.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers free self-study modules and CME credit.

Local Opioid Crisis Response           

Marin's response to the opioid epidemic was highlighted at the RxDrug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta last week.  The presentation, entitled "Think Local, Act Local," featured RxSafe Marin and Safe Med LA as examples of community-wide action through local opioid safety coalitions.  The President and First Lady attended the conference, signifying federal interest in a response that's informed by successful models.  The RxSafe Marin dashboard tracks our progress against established goals county-wide.

Public Health Program Spotlight:  Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) 

WIC offers healthy foods and support for nutrition, health and breastfeeding for families at critical periods of growth and development.  WIC provides:
  • Nutrition experts who specialize in nutrition for mothers and their children.
  • Support and information about breastfeeding, including access to breastfeeding experts.
  • Help in accessing health care and other social and economic supports.
  • Special checks to buy healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk, eggs, bread, cereal and more.
We count on health care providers to refer to the WIC Program.  For more information, please call 415-473-4029 or email:

Message from the Public Health Officer

Matthew Willis Marin County PHO HeadshotIt's hard to believe that measles is back after being nearly eliminated in 2000. To date this year, there are more than 700 cases nationally, including some in several Bay Area counties.  Marin County has been spared so far in the latest outbreak, but we are vulnerable.  Although childhood vaccination rates are 94 percent overall, in some schools less than half of students are fully vaccinated.  Marin hosts visitors from all over the world, our residents are frequent travelers, and measles is more common abroad.  Your vigilance in promoting vaccination and identifying and reporting potential cases is vital to protecting our community.
Warm Regards,
Matt Willis
HHS Website
HHS Youtube
Copyright (c) 2019
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
(415) 473-4163
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Our mailing address is:
3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901

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