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Public Health

First death from West Nile Virus confirmed

DPH_Version2_FullColorSan Bernardino County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first death from West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2015.  A total of five WNV cases have been confirmed within the County this year; the first death occurred in a previously reported case. San Bernardino County reported eight confirmed WNV cases at this time in 2014 with no deaths.  Throughout the state, there are 36 confirmed WNV cases so far this year. This amount exceeds the California five-year annual average of 23 cases.

“We are greatly saddened by this death that has occurred in San Bernardino County. We extend our deepest condolences to the family. We continue to see an increase of West Nile Virus activity throughout the county and therefore, we strongly encourage that the public takes appropriate precautionary measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer. “People over 50 years old should be especially cautious, as they are more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus.”

WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms. However, some people may develop severe symptoms which can lead to brain inflammation or paralysis. The most effective way to avoid WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

Residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:

  • DAWN and DUSK – Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active.
  • DRESS – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light colored.
  • DRAIN – Remove or drain all standing water around your property where mosquitoes lay eggs (birdbaths, ponds, old tires, buckets, clogged gutters or puddles from leaky sprinklers).
  • DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET.   When using DEET, be sure to read and follow the label instructions.
  • DOORS – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
  • REPORT – Report green or neglected pools by calling 1 (800) 442-2283. Press 3 when prompted.

The public can participate in the WNV surveillance program by reporting dead birds to the state’s WNV toll-free hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD (968-2473) or at www.westnile.ca.gov.

For more information on WNV, visit the San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control Program or call the Communicable Disease Section (CDS) at 1 (800) 722-4794.

Health Officer issues heat advisory

Rising TemperatureWith above average temperatures expected, the County of San Bernardino Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare has issued a heat advisory. Forecasted temperatures of 105 degrees to 110 degrees are expected for the inland valleys, mountains and desert regions. Residents are urged to take precautions that will help prevent heat-related illness.

High or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with chronic medical conditions.

Take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke by following the tips below.

Stay cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings.
  • Find an air-conditioned Cooling Center open to the public by dialing the United Way’s toll-free resource telephone line at 2-1-1, or online at www.coolingsb.org
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
  • Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink water more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are drinking enough water.

For more information on the extreme heat visit the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website.

Or visit the California Department of Public Health website.

First human cases of West Nile Virus confirmed

DPH_Version2_FullColorTwo human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) have been confirmed in San Bernardino County. These are the first confirmed human cases within the County this year. At this time last year, the County had a total of two confirmed cases of WNV. As of August 3, 2015, the California Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of eight human cases of WNV and one WNV-related death within the state.
“We strongly encourage the public to be aware of the WNV activity in their area and take action to protect themselves and their family by taking appropriate precautionary measures,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, County of San Bernardino Health Officer. “West Nile virus infection can cause serious disease; therefore, prevention is essential.”
WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms. However, some people may develop severe symptoms which can lead to brain inflammation or paralysis. The most effective way to avoid WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites.
San Bernardino County residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:
DAWN and DUSK – Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active.
DRESS – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light colored.
DRAIN – Remove or drain all standing water around your property where mosquitoes lay eggs (birdbaths, ponds, old tires, buckets, clogged gutters or puddles from leaky sprinklers).
DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET. When using DEET, be sure to read and follow the label instructions.
DOORS – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
REPORT – Report green or neglected pools by calling 1 (800) 442-2283. Press 3 when prompted.
The public can participate in the WNV surveillance program by reporting dead birds to the state’s WNV toll-free hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD (968-2473) or at www.westnile.ca.gov.
For more information on WNV, visit the San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control Program at http://1.usa.gov/1N5qvuM or call the Communicable Disease Section (CDS) at
1 (800) 722-4794.

Public Health issues a heat advisory for the weekend

Rising TemperatureSan Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare has issued a heat advisory for residents. High temperature above 100 degrees are forecasted for the inland valleys, mountains and desert regions for the weekend. Residents are urged to take precautions that will help prevent heat-related illness.

High or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with chronic medical conditions.

Take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke by following the tips below.

Stay cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings.
  • Find an air-conditioned Cooling Center open to the public by dialing the United Way’s toll-free resource telephone line at 2-1-1, or online at www.coolingsb.org
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
  • Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are drinking enough water.

For more information on the extreme heat visit the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website here. Or visit the California Department of Public Health website here. 

 

Public Health: Additional potential public exposure to measles

DPH_Version2_FullColorSan Bernardino County Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed nine cases of measles within the County as of February 18, 2015. These cases are either initial exposures or linked as secondary cases in conjunction with the recent outbreak associated with California Disneyland theme parks. It is possible that San Bernardino County residents may have been exposed to measles since one of the confirmed cases visited public places while infectious.

Additional potential exposure location and time:

Target, 27320 West Lugonia Avenue Redlands, CA 92374

o Sunday, February 8, 2015 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM

o Friday, February 13, 2015 11:30AM – 1:30PM

Sushi Mac, 7243 Boulder Avenue Highland, CA 92346

o Sunday, February 8, 2015 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Walmart, 4210 E. Highland Avenue Highland, CA 92346

o Sunday, February 8, 2015 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Loma Linda University Medical Center, 7223 Church Street Suite C-1 Highland, CA 92346

o Monday, February 9, 2015 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

o Tuesday, February 10, 2015 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM

o Thursday, February 12, 2015 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Loma Linda University Medical Center- Lab, 11370 Anderson Street Loma Linda, CA 92354

o Tuesday, February 10, 2015 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

o Thursday, February 12, 2015 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Dollar Tree, 25670 Redlands Blvd. Redlands, CA 92354

o Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

o Friday, February 13, 2015 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Parliament Chocolate, 16 East Redlands Blvd. Redlands, CA 92373

o Friday, February 13, 2015 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Trader Joe’s, 552 Orange Street Redlands, CA 92374

o Friday, February 13, 2015 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears.

The Department of Public Health has been working with the places listed above to contact people who may have been exposed to these cases. As a precaution, people who were in the locations above, around the same time as the individual with measles should:

• Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately or the DPH at 1-800-722-4794.

• Do not visit a health care provider without first notifying them of your potential exposure.

Measles is a rare disease in the United States and in regions of the world where vaccination coverage is high. Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to prevent outbreaks of disease in our community. Given the recent cases identified here and in other jurisdictions in Southern California, additional cases are expected and vaccination is key in preventing infection from future exposures.

For more information about measles, please call San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

First confirmed flu-related deaths in the County

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe Department of Public Health has confirmation of its first two flu-related deaths. Both adults had underlying medical conditions and were from the High Desert area. One had been vaccinated. As of January 24, 2015, California Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of nine flu related deaths statewide.

“The families have our sincerest condolences. This fatality is a reminder that flu can be a serious and often deadly disease,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer.

Flu activity is beginning to increase statewide, including reports of hospitalizations and severe disease, according to Dr. Ohikhuare.

“We are early on in what could be a severe flu season, as it has yet to peak in California. You can help prevent further spread of the flu by getting a flu shot,” Ohikhuare said.

The flu shot remains the most effective protection from the flu. A seasonal flu shot is recommended every year to all persons age 6 months and older, to help protect you, your family and the community from the flu.

The flu is caused by the influenza viruses and is easily spread from one person to another. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Those at highest risk of severe flu (the elderly, pregnant women, infants, or people with other health conditions) who show flu symptoms should contact their medical provider immediately in order to get the most effective treatment for flu.

In addition to getting the flu vaccine, prevent the spread of illness by following these steps:
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after a cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used if soap and water are not available
• Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others
• Contact your medical provider for treatment options

To find a flu shot clinic nearest you visit http://flushot.healthmap.org. For more information on flu activity please visit the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website at sbcounty.gov/dph/publichealth, or contact the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Potential public exposure to measles

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe Department of Public Health  has confirmed six cases of measles within the County as of February 2, 2015. These cases are either initial exposures or linked as secondary cases in conjunction with the recent outbreak associated with California Disneyland theme parks. It is possible that San Bernardino County residents may have been exposed to measles since one of the confirmed cases visited public places while infectious.
Potential exposure locations and times:
Inland Center Auto Body, 181 S. Arrowhead Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92408
o Thursday, January 22, 2015 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
o Friday, January 23, 2015 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
o Saturday, January 24, 2015 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Elgin and Fagan Bar 336 W. Highland Ave. San Bernardino 92405
o Thursday, January 22, 2015 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
o Saturday, January 24, 2015 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Game Stop, 1100 S Mount Vernon Ave. Colton, CA 92324
o Saturday, January 24, 2015 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears.

The Department of Public Health has been working with the places listed above to contact people who may have been exposed to these cases. As a precaution, people who were in the locations above, around the same time as the individual with measles should:
• Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately or the DPH at 1-800-722-4794.

• Do not visit a health care provider without first notifying them of your potential exposure.

Measles is a rare disease in the United States and in regions of the world where vaccination coverage is high. Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to prevent outbreaks of disease in our community. Given the recent cases identified here and in other jurisdictions in Southern California, additional cases are expected and vaccination is key in preventing infection from future exposures.

For more information about measles, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html, California Department of Public Health at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Measles.aspx or call the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Potential public exposure to measles

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe Department of Public Health  has confirmed four cases of measles within the County as of January 23, 2015. These cases are either initial exposures or linked as secondary cases in conjunction with the recent outbreak associated with California Disneyland theme parks. It is possible that San Bernardino County residents may have been exposed to measles since one of the confirmed cases visited public places while infectious.

Potential exposure locations and times:

• Montclair Plaza, 5060 E Montclair Plaza Lane Montclair, CA 91763
o Friday, January 16, 2015 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

• Harkins Theater, 3070 Chino Avenue Chino Hills, CA 91709
o Saturday, January 17, 2015 10:30 p.m. – Sunday, January 18, 2015 1:30 a.m.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears.

The Department of Public Health has been working with the places listed above to contact people who may have been exposed to these cases. As a precaution, people who were in the locations above around the same time as the individual with measles should:

• Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately or the DPH at 1-800-722-4794.

• Do not visit a health care provider without first notifying them of your potential exposure.

Measles is a rare disease in the United States and in regions of the world where vaccination coverage is high. Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to prevent outbreaks of disease in our community. Given the recent cases identified here and in other jurisdictions in Southern California, additional cases are expected and vaccination is key in preventing infection from future exposures.

For more information about measles, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html, California Department of Public Health at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Measles.aspx or call the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

County confirms measles cases, potential public exposure

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health has confirmed two cases of measles within the County as of January 12, 2015. These cases are in conjunction with the recent outbreak associated with California Disneyland theme parks that occurred between December 15 – 20, 2014. It is possible that San Bernardino County residents may have been exposed to measles since one of the confirmed cases visited public places while infectious.

Potential exposure locations and times:

  • Casino Morongo, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230

o  Sunday, January 4, 2015 6 p.m.– 11:30 p.m.

  • Magic Wok, 12029 Central Avenue Chino, CA 91710

o  Tuesday, January 6, 2015 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Jimmy’s Warehouse Sportscard (Swap meet in Westminster), 12327 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, CA 90602

o  Wednesday, January 7, 2015 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • Pomona Valley Health Center- Urgent Care, 3110 Chino Avenue Suite #150 Chino, CA 91709

o  Thursday, January 8, 2015 3:56 p.m. – 5:05 p.m.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears.

The Department of Public Health has been working with the places listed below to contact people who may have been exposed to these cases. As a precaution, people who were in the below locations around the same time as the individual with measles should:

  • Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately or the Department of Public Health at 1-800-722-4794.
  • Do not visit a healthcare provider without first notifying them of your potential exposure.

Measles is a rare disease in the United States and in regions of the world where vaccination coverage is high. Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to prevent outbreaks of disease in our community. Given the recent cases identified here and in other jurisdictions in Southern California, additional cases are expected and vaccination is key in preventing infection from future exposures.

For more information about measles, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html, California Department of Public Health at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Measles.aspx http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Measles.aspxor call the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

‘Tis the season to be jolly and food safe

raw eggsFood plays a central role in the way we celebrate the holidays. With the holiday season upon us, this is a great time to remind everyone about the importance of holiday food safety. To keep unwanted visitors like Salmonella, E. coli and Staph aureus from crashing your holiday party, the Division of Environmental Health Services would like to share some important food safety tips and resources that you can use for holiday and everyday meals.

Holiday Treats: Certain foods and methods of food preparation that are popular during the season can increase the risk of foodborne illness. For example, consuming foods that contain raw eggs as called for in some homemade egg nog recipes, meringue-topped pies or even tasting raw cookie dough, can all lead to food poisoning. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness associated with raw or undercooked eggs, consider using a cooked-egg mixture. Be sure that any food products that contain eggs are cooked to 160ºF. You can also substitute raw eggs for pasteurized eggs or egg products. This way, you can enjoy your favorite holiday treats without sacrificing taste or food safety.

Buffet-Style Gatherings: When hosting a potluck or buffet-style gathering, be sure to make your food safety check list, and check it twice! If proper handling, preparation and storage guidelines are not followed, many people can become ill. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with certain health conditions are especially at-risk for serious complications of foodborne illnesses. To keep you, your family and your guests safe from food poisoning, always remember to follow these steps:

Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often. Bacteria that cause food poisoning can survive in many places around your kitchen, including on your hands, utensils, serving plates and cutting boards.

•Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm, running water. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.

•Wash all surfaces and utensils after each use. Rinsing utensils, countertops, and cutting boards with water won’t do enough to stop bacteria from spreading. Clean utensils and small cutting boards with soap and hot water. Clean all surfaces and cutting boards with soap and hot water, and sanitize with a bleach solution.

•Wash fruits and vegetables—but not meat, poultry, or eggs. Even if you plan to peel fruits and veggies, it’s important to wash them first because bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside as you cut or peel them.

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