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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Positive indicators for West Nile Virus reported in Colton and Upland

mosquitoThe Division of Environmental Health Service’s Mosquito and Vector Control Program (MVCP) has reported multiple positive indicators for West Nile Virus (WNV) in San Bernardino County. MVCP has sentinel chicken flocks placed in various locations throughout San Bernardino County to detect WNV. If any sentinel chickens test positive for WNV, it means that the mosquito population in these areas are infected, increasing the possible risk of the public being infected. Chickens are not harmed by the virus.

Two chickens from a sentinel flock in Colton were reported to have tested positive for WNV. In addition, a group of mosquitoes collected for testing in Upland and Colton were reported to have tested positive for the virus. MVCP is taking steps to eliminate mosquito breeding hazards.

Those infected with West Nile fever may experience flu-like symptoms that can include fever, body aches, skin rash, and fatigue. In some individuals, West Nile fever can develop into a more serious form of the disease. If you have been bitten by mosquitoes and are experiencing these symptoms, contact your medical care provider.

Residents can protect themselves from WNV by following these tips:

·         Drain or Dump – Remove all standing water around your property where mosquitoes can lay eggs such as birdbaths, green swimming pools, ponds, old tires, buckets, flower pots, clogged gutters, or even puddles from leaky sprinklers.

·         Dawn and Dusk – Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active.

·         Dress – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light colored.

·         DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET 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 mosquitoes from entering your home.

To learn more about West Nile virus, visit the CDC webpage by clicking here.  

For more information or to report a green pool or mosquito breeding source, contact the Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at

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.

New director to lead Behavioral Health Department

Veronica KelleyThe Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed Assistant Behavioral Health Director Veronica Kelley to serve as department director effective Oct. 15, the same date current Director CaSonya Thomas begins her new board-appointed position as assistant executive officer in charge of Human Services.

Kelley, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, began her career with County Behavioral Health in 2009 as the department’s cultural competency officer, managing the Office of Cultural Competence and Ethnic Services, the Office of Prevention and Early Intervention and the Office of Innovation. She was deputy director over Regional Operations and Alcohol & Drug Services, and in 2013, became assistant director for the department.

“Veronica is a highly qualified professional who has the board’s full faith and confidence,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Her appointment demonstrates that the county’s pool of executive talent is strong and deep. It also demonstrates the board’s commitment to community health, well-being, and public safety.”

“It is with great excitement that I accept the position of director of Behavioral Health,” said Kelley. “In my position as assistant director, our mission of wellness, recovery and resilience is brought to life by the actions of our staff each and every day as they serve clients, fellow departments, community partners and the community at large. As director, I will continue our focus on this mission and provide high-quality behavioral health services through collaborative efforts, partnerships and transparency.  I am proud and honored by the continued opportunity to serve.”

“Throughout her career with the department, Veronica’s expertise and proficiency has greatly contributed to DBH’s mission of providing accessible and effective behavioral health services, supporting the countywide vision of creating a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being,” said current Director Thomas. “I support her appointment by the Board of Supervisors and have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the department and the valuable services it provides to the community.”

Kelley earned a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Child Development from Mount Saint Mary’s University.  She is also a member of the Governing Board for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California serving as the Co-Chair for the Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Committee. Kelley is also a professor at Mount Saint Mary’s, teaching in the undergraduate Social Work/Sociology/Gerontology and Film Department and as an adjunct faculty member in the MSW Program at the Loma Linda University Department of Social Work and Social Ecology.

Candidate filing deadline approaching for 2016 Presidential General Election

flags canvaFriday, Aug. 12, is the last day for potential candidates to return completed candidate filing documents for offices up for election in the 2016 Presidential General Election.

There are more than 200 local offices up for election in San Bernardino County, including school district, special district, and city offices.

Citizens who are interested in running for school or special district offices up for election may obtain and file the appropriate documents at the San Bernardino County Elections Office, 777 E. Rialto Avenue in San Bernardino, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Completed candidate filing documents must be filed at the Elections Office by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12.

In addition, citizens may obtain candidacy documents for following special district offices from the district’s secretary, during regular business hours:

  • Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District
  • Big Bear Airport District
  • Big Bear City Community Services District
  • Big Bear Municipal Water District
  • Big River Community Services District
  • Hi-Desert Memorial Healthcare District
  • Inland Empire Utilities Agency
  • Mojave Water Agency
  • Monte Vista Water District
  • San Bernardino Mountains Community Hospital District
  • San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
  • Yucaipa Valley Water District

Citizens interested in running for city offices up for election must pick up and file their candidate filing documents at the appropriate City Clerk’s office during regular business hours.

For more information on this election, including a complete list of districts with offices up for election, visit or call (909) 387-8300.

You can recognize those who help local youth

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Commission of San Bernardino County will hold its Annual Recognition of Service to Youth Awards Ceremony on Oct. 12 to honor individuals, service organizations, nonprofit agencies, public agencies and companies throughout the county who have made exceptional and outstanding contributions in strengthening and advocating youth programs and services.teens-youthunitedway-1

The focus of these awards is to recognize individuals and entities who go above and beyond the call of duty. The commission needs your help in identifying those who should be honored at this special tribute event. The five categories for awards are individual, nonprofit agency, public agency, service organization, and company or corporation.

The nomination form can be found here. Nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Aug. 19.

Make a difference in San Bernardino County by recognizing someone or assists young people in our communities.


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