County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - February 2020

Public Health Newsletter - February 2020
Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 8 - Issue 2 - February 2020
In this Issue: COVID-19 | Black History Month | Open Spaces | TB | Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer
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A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This week, we saw a rapid change in the global spread of COVID-19 and we saw the first possible case of community-acquired COVID-19 in the United States.  We also coordinated the transfer of an asymptomatic COVID-19 case, who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess, from Travis Air Force Base to a local hospital.  We understand that you may also be receiving increased inquiries regarding COVID-19.  You can direct patients to call the Marin County Communicable Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) unit at 415-473-4163, if they have questions or concerns.  We have created a new website for healthcare providers and continue to update our public website.

Black History Month 

In the 1940s, thousands of African-Americans moved to Marin County to build the merchant marine of World War II and became residents and community leaders in our county.   Today, Marin County is beginning to address racism and achieve health equity in our community.  One of our community partners in this endeavor is Marin Promise PartnershipMarin Promise Partnership is confronting systemic inequities that limit educational attainment for many children of color and youth living in poverty.  We know educational attainment is a key driver of lifelong health and well-being.  Learn more about the actions you can take to help achieve educational equity in Marin.

Wide Open Spaces 

Studies have shown that exercise reduces acute respiratory illness by up to 43%, and meditation has an even greater impact.  Both activities reduce stress, which can impact your immune system health.  Marin County Parks offers a wide variety of activities to connect with nature and boost your immune system.  They have also increased recreational opportunities for people using the open space trail system, regardless of their abilities.  Encourage patients to visit the Parks website to identify their next outdoor adventure.

Latent TB 

This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new recommendations for the treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI).  Short course (3-4 months) rifamycin-based treatment regimens are now preferred over the longer course (6-9 months) INH monotherapy for treatment of latent TB infections (LTBI).  The preferred LTBI regimens are:
  • 3 months of weekly INH and rifapentine (if available)
  • 4 months of daily rifampin
  • 3 months of daily INH and rifampin
Please ensure your patients have an adequate supply of medications to complete treatment.  If you have any questions, contact the Marin County Tuberculosis Control program by phoning 415-473-4163 or email or visit our website.

Message from the Public Health Officer

February has been a dynamic month in the worlds of communicable disease prevention and control and public health emergency preparedness.  In Marin County, we have valued community assets that increase our resilience.  We have Neighborhood Response Groups (NRGs), Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), the Marin Medical Reserve Corps (MMRC), Marin County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Disaster Councils, among others -- whose members have invested significant amounts of time and energy to increasing our community's readiness for emergencies and disasters.  With wild fire season around the corner, we should follow their lead by visiting and organizing our emergency plans. 
Warm Regards,
Lisa Santora
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Copyright © 2020
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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