From the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
As the state guards against a possible new whooping cough outbreak, local officials are crediting a new state law with pushing vaccination rates for middle- and high-school children upward. With traditionally high numbers of children skipping shots due to the beliefs of their parents, Santa Cruz County has seen the rates of unvaccinated children cut after a law requiring booster shots for anyone entering seventh grade.
"There is always the possibility for a potential resurgence as experienced in May of 2010 -- the year of the pertussis epidemic," said Dr. Gil Chavez, deputy director at the Center for Infectious Diseases and state epidemiologist for the California Department of Public Health. "The key objective in pertussis control is prevention of severe disease and death, particularly in infants."
From the Produce Retailer.
Across the state, retailers in low-income neighborhoods are getting a boost in produce from the Network for a Healthy California Retail Program. The program is gearing up for its annual Fruit and Veggie Fests in May, with more than 17 retailers signed up to participate in the 7-year-old program.
For Arteaga?s Food Center, a Gilroy, Calif.-based chain with locations mostly in low-income neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area, the events were a kick start to helping shoppers make healthy decisions in-store, said owner Lupe Lopez.
From Richmond Confidential.
This week . . . marks the launch of Be Smarter, Drink Water, a campaign to support drinking tap water in Richmond. As part of a series of initiatives that Contra Costa County Health Services established to address childhood obesity, the project emphasizes drinking tap water as an alternative to sugary beverages as well as an environmentally and economically sustainable choice.
A primary impetus for the project was a 2009 survey by the California Department of Public Health that found that 40 percent of sampled schools didn?t offer students free water - and that many of the schools' existing water fountains weren't well maintained. Following state legislation that went into effect in July 2011, all California public schools are now required to provide free water, but the funding isn't always there.
From the San Jose Mercury News.
State health leaders on Monday announced a possible security breach involving 2,000 birth records. A reel containing names, addresses, Social Security numbers and some medical information was found in an unsecure location, the California Department of Public Health reported.
The records were for people born from May through September of 1974 in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter and Tehama counties. Also included was information on their parents.
From Fox News Lation.
A potentially lethal but often misdiagnosed disease, the so-called valley fever has been on the rise as warming climates and drought have kicked up the dust that spreads it. And it is infecting more and more people around the nation.
The fever has hit California's agricultural heartland particularly hard in recent years, with incidence dramatically increasing in 2010 and 2011. "Research has shown that when soil is dry and it is windy, more spores are likely to become airborne in endemic areas," said Dr. Gil Chavez, Deputy Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the California Department of Public Health.
The Condom Access Project was introduced Tuesday by the California Department of Public Health, to help kids as young as 12 order condoms online, for free and without their parents' consent. The program will be available through TeenSource.org for California kids ages 12-19 living in areas with high STI and teen birth rates. The site also has information on free condom resources for other teens, as well as maps to facilities that conduct STI testing.
From the appealdemocrat.com.
Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica, said Friday he will not only oppose a bill that allows homeless people to sleep in public, he will fight it.
"My belief is that type of statute should be left up to the cities and not the state," Logue said. "The problem in Sacramento is, it's a one-size-fits-all approach to government."
Authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, Assembly Bill 5 was written to provide rights to everyone, regardless of housing status, for accessing public property. It would require the California Department of Public Health to fund the construction of health and hygiene centers for homeless people.