County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter June 2018

 
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A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Don't Bring Zika Home

After two years of active Zika surveillance, there have been more than 600 travel-associated Zika infections in California.  With summer here, many Marin County residents are travelling to Zika-endemic areas.  The most frequented countries of Zika exposure include Mexico, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.  Encourage your patients to stay informed and protected by visiting the Marin HHS Zika website.

Mandatory CURES Use 

When prescribing controlled substances, many Marin County clinicians consult California's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) to guide clinical decisions.  Starting October 2, 2018, all prescribers will be required to check a patient's prescription history in CURES before prescribing Schedule II-IV substances, with some exceptions.  This three-minute video is aimed at clinicians seeking to learn more about CURES and its utility in daily practice.

Hepatitis A Outbreak

California has experienced one of the largest hepatitis A outbreaks since the development of the hepatitis A vaccine, with 704 cases statewide, including 461 hospitalizations and 21 deaths since November 2016.  Incidence has been high among homeless people.  To protect those at highest risk, Marin HHS has partnered with St. Vincent de Paul homeless services in five hepatitis A vaccination clinics over the past year.   Incidence in Marin County has not increased.  Clinicians are reminded to offer hepatitis A vaccine to those at risk and report cases to Marin County Public Health.   

Flavored Tobacco Ban

Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and in Marin.  Tobacco control policies limit tobacco-related harm, while facing predictable resistance from the tobacco industry.  On June 5, San Franciscans voted to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, and flavored nicotine-containing vaping products.  Vaping rates among youth have risen dramatically with a corresponding increase in nicotine addiction.  This effort was supported by the San Francisco Marin Medical Society and the American Heart Association.

Message from the Public Health Officer

Matthew Willis Marin County PHO HeadshotClinicians are well aware of the relationship between childhood experiences and life-long health.  Adverse or traumatic events predict risk for chronic disease, mental illness and substance use across the life course.  The medical community responded swiftly against immigration policies that separate families, including the AMA, the National Academies of Sciences, and local physician groups.  More than ever, clinicians are called upon to apply science, compassion and courage in our advocacy for our patients and the community we serve.
Warm Regards,
Matt Willis
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Copyright © 2018
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
mwillis@marincounty.org
(415) 473-4163
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San Rafael, CA 94901
 

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