Translate:
HomeCo
Home
Countywide Vision
Services A-Z
Services
Visiting
Living
Working
Contacts
Email Subscriptions
E-Subscriptions
Envelope GovDelivery NoticesGet e-mail updates when this information changes.

Public Health

1 2 3 5

County urges meningococcal vaccine during ongoing outbreak

DPH_Version2_FullColorThe County’s Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare is urging people to get the meningococcal vaccine who are at higher risk of contracting the disease. Those who are high risk include men who have sex with men, gay, bisexual men, as well as people infected with HIV.

As of Aug. 15, 22 cases of meningococcal disease have been confirmed in an ongoing Southern California outbreak. There are currently no reported cases in San Bernardino County.

In response to this ongoing outbreak, the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch (CDPH) has granted temporary approval to all local health departments to use state-funded vaccines for outbreak control efforts.  It is particularly important that high-risk individuals be vaccinated. This vaccine protects against the dominant strain of disease identified in this outbreak. Meningococcal vaccine is available at no cost to all County residents who desire to be vaccinated regardless of their insurance status or risk factors.

Currently, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the MenACWY meningococcal vaccine to all high risk individuals. People infected with HIV should receive two doses of the vaccine, and uninfected men should receive one dose. Those who were vaccinated more than five years ago should be revaccinated.

Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, bloodstream infections (sepsis), pneumonia, and arthritis. Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets from the nose and throat. Individuals who are in close personal contact with multiple people, regularly visit crowded venues, or use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, marijuana, or hookahs may be at higher risk of infection. Symptoms of meningococcal disease may include fever, vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion, and rash. If experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical care immediately. Symptoms of meningococcal disease often begin soon after exposure and can be fatal.

There have been no cases reported in San Bernardino County to date.  So far, all cases have been reported in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and most cases have been gay or bisexual men. To date, two patients have died from meningococcal disease associated with this outbreak.

County residents who are at risk can make a vaccination appointment at County Public Health clinics by calling (800) 722-4777. This vaccine may also be obtained through a private provider.

For more information about meningococcal disease and vaccine recommendations, visit the CDPH website or call the Communicable Disease Section (CDS) at 1-800-722-4794.

County issues heat advisory with temps over 100

Rising TemperatureDr. Maxwell Ohikhuare Health Officer for San Bernardino County has issued another excessive heat warning for high temperatures today and through this coming weekend. Temperatures are expected to be above 105 degrees for the Inland Valley areas and up to 110 degrees for the high deserts. The mountain areas below 6,000 feet will see temperatures up to 102 degrees.

“As another heat wave hits our county, we need to remember to try and stay cool. Check on those most vulnerable, the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor and people with chronic medical conditions,” said Dr. Ohikhuare. “We also need to remember that cars get very hot and can be deadly to a child or pet left behind.”

High or unusually hot temperatures can affect one’s health. 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 and cool place to go to by dialing the United Way’s toll-free resource line at 2-1-1
  • 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.
  • Do not leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even in the shade with windows cracked, temperatures can reach over 120 degrees inside. Their abilities to cool through sweating are not as developed as adults.
  • 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.

Remember, pets are vulnerable to high temperatures too, but are unable to vocalize their distress. Some signs of heat distress in pets can include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive thirst, and vomiting. You can help prevent a heat emergency by taking these steps.

For Pets

  • Leave your pets extra water.
  • Bring pets inside during periods of extreme heat.
  • Ensure they have plenty of shade if kept outside.  Remember, the shade your pets have in the morning will either change or diminish as the sun moves throughout the day and may not protect them.
  • Don’t force animals to exercise when it is hot and humid. Exercise pets early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Do not let pets stand on sidewalks or hot asphalt to avoid burning their paws.
  • Never leave pets in a parked vehicle, even in the shade with windows cracked, temperatures can reach over 120 degrees inside. The vehicle is quickly turned into a furnace and can kill any animal!

For more information, contact the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health at 1-800-782-4264. For the National Weather Service forecast, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov or the California Department of Public Health web site.

Plans underway for December 2 memorial

Efforts are underway to create a public, County Government memorial to the people affected by the events of December 2, 2015. A memorial committee assembled by Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who was appointed by Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos to create and head the committee, has issued the following statement to update the community on the effort:SB Strong Logo 1

“We are moving forward with plans for a memorial to those who were taken, the county employees who were injured physically and emotionally, and the people who protected us during the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

“We are family members of those who were taken, county employees who were present during this tragedy, and representatives from various County departments. We are meeting regularly to determine how the world will remember the people involved in and affected by the events of December 2.

“We have discussed a memorial that will serve as a place where all can remember each of those who were taken from us and the beauty they brought into this world. We also want it to recognize the tenacity of our community to persevere and move forward.

“As this committee continues its work, we will determine the nature, location, and timeline of the memorial. We have decided the memorial will focus on the County family and be dedicated primarily to the people whose lives were taken on December 2. The memorial will also recognize those who were injured, and give consideration to the first responders.

“We want to make the memorial a place suitable for quiet reflection. We have also determined that the memorial will recognize the broad ethnic and cultural diversity of those who were taken from us.

“We intend to create a memorial that celebrates life, and that honors the people who were taken on that terrible day; people who dedicated their careers to protecting the community’s health and well-being.

“The County will provide the public with regular updates on the memorial plans and timeline.”

The committee has also adopted the following mission statement:

December 2 Memorial Mission Statement:

Permanently honor and celebrate the innocent souls taken from us by a brutal and cowardly act of terrorism on December 2, 2015, and provide enduring recognition of the County employees who witnessed the attack,many of whom were physically injured and all of whom were emotionally impacted.

Acknowledge those who bravely and selflessly provided protection, comfort, and support to the loved ones of those who were taken, the wounded, our San Bernardino County Government Family, and our county community on the day of the attack and in the days, weeks, and months that followed.

Ensure that our efforts reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, inspire an end to hatred, and uphold San Bernardino County’s tradition of strength, determination, and resilience.

No cases of Zika, Public Health continues to monitor situation

DPH_Version2_FullColorAlthough there are no reported cases in San Bernardino County, the Department of Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health Services, the Communicable Disease Section and Public Health Laboratory are working together to make sure any suspected Zika cases are investigated and tested appropriately.

“Even though no immediate threat to county residents exists, I would like to remind county residents to protect themselves and family members from mosquito bites, especially if traveling to Zika-affected countries.” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer.  A health alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with a list of affected countries can be found on the CDC webpage at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/ .

The six confirmed cases of Zika virus in California were acquired in other countries. The Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that can transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses. These mosquitoes are not native to California, but have been identified in 12 California counties. In San Bernardino County they were found in October of 2015, but the risk of transmission in California is still low.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and CDC have also issued a guidance for pregnant women recommending they avoid travel to Zika-affected countries.  Pregnant women who cannot avoid travel to these countries should talk to their health care provider and take steps to avoid mosquito bites.

Most people infected with Zika virus will not develop symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they are usually mild and include fever, joint pain, rash and eye redness. If you have returned from an affected country and have these symptoms within two weeks, or any other symptoms following your return; please contact your medical provider and tell the doctor where you have traveled. While there is no specific treatment for the Zika virus disease, the best recommendations are supportive care, rest, fluids and fever relief.

Residents can still take precautions to avoid breeding areas around their homes by following these tips.

  • Drain or Dump – Remove all standing water around your property where mosquitos lay eggs such as birdbaths, old tires, pet watering dishes, buckets, or even clogged gutters.
  • Clean and scrub any container with stored water to remove possible eggs.
  • Dress – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts whenever you are outdoors to avoid mosquito bites.
  • DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, PICARDIN, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Doors – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.

If you notice these small black and white mosquitoes in or around your home, please contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, DEHS MVCP at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at http://goo.gl/gdl2dt or the CDPH website at http://bit.ly/1u35fQx .

Health Advisory: County urges residents to get flu vaccine

flushotThe San Bernardino County Department of Public Health urges residents to prepare for the upcoming flu season by getting a flu vaccine.

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated. “Early vaccination will provide protection throughout flu season and into the spring,”said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer. “It is also important for residents to use their flu vaccination visit to get up-to-date on other vaccines they may need, including the pneumococcal vaccine. Adults over 50 are at higher risk of serious complications from flu and adults 65 years or older are now recommended two pneumococcal vaccines. This is the perfect time for our adult residents to assess their immunization history.”

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu can cause severe disease across all age groups. Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every flu season: Nov. 1 to March 31. Vaccination should begin as soon as vaccine becomes available in early fall.

Flu is very contagious. To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay home from work or school if you get sick and limit contact with others.

Talk to your medical care provider regarding flu vaccination and to make sure you are up-to-date on other recommended vaccines.

Pneumococcal disease can cause severe infections of the lungs (pneumonia), bloodstream (bacteremia), and lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). The best way to prevent pneumococcal disease is by getting vaccinated. Both the pneumococcal and flu vaccine is available at County Public Health clinics for those with no insurance or whose insurance does not cover the vaccine.

To make an appointment to receive the flu or pneumococcal vaccine at one of the Public Health Centers, call 1-800-722-4777 or visit the Public Health webpage at http://www.sbcounty.gov/dph . To find a vaccine provider nearest you visit http://flushot.healthmap.org. For more information about the flu and pneumococcal vaccine contact the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794.

Health Officer issues heat advisory for weekend

Rising TemperatureWith above average temperatures expected this weekend, the County of San Bernardino Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare has issued a heat advisory.Temperatures will peak on Friday 10 to 20 degrees above normal for this time of year, with very slight cooling Saturday through Sunday.

“While this magnitude of heat is not especially unusual, the recent cool weather could cause some people to be caught off guard, especially those most susceptible to heat illness.”  Said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare Health Officer. “Those most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with chronic medical conditions.”

High or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. 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 http://211sb.org/cooling-centers
  • 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 at http://www.sbcounty.gov/dph  Or visit the California Department of Public Health website at: http://www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/BeInformed/NaturalDisasters/ExtremeHeat/Pages/ExtremeHeat.aspx

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. 

 

1 2 3 5
Twitter @SBCountyFollow @SBCounty on Twitter!