County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - February 2024

Public Health Newsletter - February 2024
Marin County Public Health Newsletter - February 2024
In this Issue: Measles Update | Think TB I Emergency Alert System Test | Safety After a Flood | Social Media and Teen Mental Health | County Health Ranking | Message from the Public Health Officer 
A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officers.

Measles Update

Measles, once nearly eliminated in the U.S., is on the rise again globally and nationally. The California Department of Public Health issued a health advisory, reminding health care providers to consider measles in persons presenting with a febrile rash illness. Clinicians should ensure patients are up to date with measles vaccine and report any suspected cases to Marin Public Health at 415-473-4163. Travelers should check CDC’s Travel Health Notices to monitor measles risk abroad. For more information visit CDPH EZIZ Measles Resources.


Think TB

Tuberculosis infections are on the rise in California, partly due to reductions in screening rates during the pandemic.  Active TB disease is effectively prevented with testing and treatment of latent TB (LTBI). Marin County clinicians are reminded to “Think TB” and test at-risk residents for LTBI. Providers should not repeat testing unless new risk factors emerge, and only treat LTBI after active TB is ruled out.  For guidance, visit TB Risk Assessment ( Report any suspect or active TB cases to Marin Public Health using the online confidential reporting form.

Emergency Alert System Test

On March 23 at 10AM, the County of Marin Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will conduct a first ever countywide test of AlertMarin.  AlertMarin is designed to reach residents countywide during an emergency incident, to communicate instructions to evacuate, shelter in place, or take other protective actions. Clinicians should encourage staff, patients and families who live or work in Marin to sign-up to receive emergency alerts ahead of the test.
OEM Graphic

Safety Concerns After a Flood

Climate change is accelerating natural disasters, including flooding. Healthcare providers should be equipped to manage emerging threats to health. The California Department of Public Health has developed materials for healthcare providers and patients regarding flooding, including a preparation checklist and clinical guidance for infectious, dermatologic, and injury concerns. This guidance is posted on a new Marin Public Health landing page. dedicated to flood safety.

Social Media and Teen Mental Health

The U.S. Surgeon General has cited an increasing body of evidence showing social media can harm the mental and social well-being of young people. The Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) has developed a resource guide for parents that clinicians can share with families. MCOE has also joined a lawsuit against social media companies to accelerate change and offset costs associated with supporting youth who have been negatively impacted.

Unpacking Marin's Top Health Ranking 

Marin County was recently ranked the healthiest county in the United States in an analysis performed by MarketWatch.  This mirrors results from the annual County Health Rankings.  However, significant health disparities exist within Marin that are hidden by county-level averages. Last week, Marin Public Health epidemiologists launched a new dashboard to describe health factors in four Health Equity Zones, to guide equity strategies and track progress. The team also created a dashboard focused on life expectancy  Marin Public Health is committed to ensuring all residents have the same opportunity for long and healthy life.

Message from the Public Health Officer

For many of us in healthcare, our roles have shifted rapidly from direct pandemic response to managing the consequences of four years of disrupted health services. Resurgences in measles and TB are partly attributable to reduced screening and vaccinations. Teen mental health has suffered from a combination of social isolation and accelerated social media. Together, these point to the value of the everyday work of preventive care, and the irreplaceable value of personal relationships with our patients. For me, it’s reassuring to recognize that pandemic recovery happens in the routine elements we all bring to the vocation of healthcare. Thank you for your stamina and compassion as we continue to care for our community.


Matt Willis MD, MPH
Public Health Officer
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Marin County Public Health, a division of the Marin County Health & Human Services Department

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