Health/Fitness

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

SUPERVISORS APPROVE ONE-YEAR BAN ON SALES OF VAPING PRODUCTS, ALSO TARGET SMOKELESS TOBACCO

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2020 (San Diego) – By a 3-2 vote, San Diego County Supervisors today tentatively approved a moratorium on sales and distribution of electronic cigarette or vaping devices, flavored and smokeless tobacco products. but exempted hookahs.  The board majority also voted to ban outdoor smoking at restaurants. 

If final approval is made on Feb. 28, the regulations will take effect July 1 and run through Feb. 28, 2021. The ban on vaping items could be lifted sooner if the U.S. Center for Disease Control changes its directives, which currently advise consumers to avoid all vaping/e-cigarette use due to sudden and severe lung illnesses.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

January 6, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

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TWO FLU DEATHS AND NEARLY 1,400 LOCAL CASES REPORTED IN PAST WEEK

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Influenza cases reported last week in San Diego County rose to a season high of 1,390 cases, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced on January 2nd.

Two additional flu deaths were identified in the region, bringing this season’s total to 10.  A 77-year-old man died Dec. 24, and a 75-year-old man died Dec. 21. Both died from influenza A, and both had underlying medical conditions.

TYPE O BLOOD DONORS URGENTLY NEEDED

December 31, 2019 (San Diego) – The San Diego Blood Bank has put out an urgent plea for both Type O positive and O negative blood donors due to a shortage.

"Coming out of the holiday season, we typically see a decrease in donations of all types at this time due to schools being out of session for the holidays and seasonal illnesses like the flu," said David Wellis, the San Diego Blood Bank's CEO.  "The need for type O blood has hit a critically low level and we need the community to help us keep a safe supply for local hospital patients."

Type O positive, the most common blood type, is often needed for hospital patients. Type O negative, the universal donor blood type, can be given to any patient and is often used in emergency rooms when there is no time to test a patient’s blood type. 

AREA HOSPITALS WORK TOGETHER TO IDENTIFY SAN DIEGO'S TOP HEALTH NEEDS

Aging, behavioral health, and chronic conditions among greatest priorities

Source: Grossmont Healthcare District

Photo:  seven area hospitals brought together more than 100 regional healthcare and social service stakeholders at National University’s central campus to release the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment findings earlier this month.

December 19, 2019 (San Diego) – How well does your local hospital know the everyday health needs of your community? Seven area hospitals and health systems are taking significant strides to do just that, with the release of a report Wednesday detailing San Diego County’s top health and social needs.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL RAISES FINES FOR ILLEGAL TOBACCO SALES; REJECTS BAN ON VAPES AND FLAVORED TOBACCO

“My responsibility is to keep these extremely dangerous devices out of the hands of our children…This is a disaster in the making.” – Councilman Gary Kendrick

“I’m very afraid of a trend I see in our country of slowly giving away our freedoms for safety,” – Mayor Bill Wells

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo from City of El Cajon presentation

Watch complete coverage with public participation

Watch council members discussion before voting

December 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon City Council took up Councilman Gary Kendrick’s proposal last month to increase fines for illegal tobacco sales to minors and to ban flavored tobacco and vapes disguised as USB memory sticks, lipstick tubes, pens and other objects. The hike in fines passed, along with added teeth to the ordinance, including suspension of a retailer’s business license for numerous violations.

But despite many El Cajon residents and others voicing concerns over health impacts of vaping, Kendrick fell short of the votes needed to enact a ban on flavored vapes and vaping devices attractive to minors. Councilmen Steve Goble, Phil Ortiz, Mayor Bill Wells prevailed with “no” votes, over Councilmen Gary Kendrick and Bob McLellan who voted “yes.”

DEADLINE SUNDAY TO GET COVERED CA INSURANCE BY JAN. 1: ALL RESIDENTS MUST HAVE COVERAGE OR PAY A PENALTY

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

December 12, 2019 (Sacramento) - This Sunday is the deadline for people to sign up for Covered California health insurance and have the coverage begin on Jan. 1.

Starting in 2020, the state will require everyone to get coverage or pay a penalty.

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December 11, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

 

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LOCAL METH DEATHS SET RECORD

 

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video by Jose Eli Villanueva

December 10, 2019 (San Diego) - A total of 483 San Diegans died from meth last year, a record number for the region.

That’s the key finding of the San Diego County Methamphetamine Strike Force’s latest report, which was released today at the Medical Examiner’s Office.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

December 4, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

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SEVEN SAN DIEGANS DIED FROM INFECTION LINKED TO BLACK TAR HEROIN

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

December 4, 2019 (San Diego) - Seven San Diegans died in the last two months from the bacterial infection myonecrosis, which is associated with black tar heroin use, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

POWAY WARNS RESIDENTS NOT TO DRINK TAP WATER WITHOUT BOILING, DUE TO POSSIBLE CONTAMINATION: COUNTY SHUTS DOWN POWAY RESTAURANTS

East County News Service

November 30, 2019 (Poway) -- As a precautionary measure, residents in the City of Poway should boil their tap water before drinking or using the water for cooking until further notice, or use bottled water.  Restaurants and other food preparation facilities in Poway have been ordered by the County to temporarily close until the problem is resolved.

Due to the recent storm event, it is believed that the potable drinking water system has possibly been compromised.  Crews are working around the clock to restore normal water service.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

COUNTY GETS $1.7 MILLION TO HOUSE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Nov. 25, 2019 (San Diego) The County Health and Human Services Agency was awarded more than $1.7 million in federal funds to house people with disabilities.

The $1,753,026 comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which awarded more than $130 million to 325 housing authorities across the nation. The County was one of 25 California counties and cities, including Oceanside, to receive this type of federal housing grants.

E-COLI OUTBREAK LINKED TO ROMAINE LETTUCE HARVESTED IN CALIFORNIA

East County News Service

November 24, 2019 (San Diego) - CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationexternal icon (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region. 

TB CASES REPORTED IN LOCAL JAILS AND A BRIDGE SHELTER FOR HOMELESS

 

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Image Credit: CDC.gov

November 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Three unrelated cases of tuberculosis have been reported in the region, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today.

Two cases were reported at San Diego County Sheriff’s detention facilities and the third was a person who arrived from out of town after being diagnosed and spent time at the City of San Diego bridge shelter, which serves single adults who are homeless.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

DEAD HAWK IN RAMONA TESTS POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

County Vector Control warns residents to protect against mosquitoes
 
East County News Service
 
November 13, 2019 (Ramona) – San Diego County environmental health officials announced today that a dead Cooper’s hawk found in Ramona has tested positive for West Nile Virus. It is the second case of West Nile Virus found in birds locally this year; in March another dead Cooper’s hawk found in Lakeside was also found to carry the virus.
 
No locally transmitted cases have been identified yet this year in humans, though two people did test positive for the virus after contracting it in other counties. Symptoms of West Nile can include headache, fever, nausea, skin rash or swollen glands. While most people recover, in about one of every 150 cases, the disease can cause serious illness including brain swelling or even death.

EAST COUNTY HOSPITALS RATE A AND B GRADES FOR SAFETY

East County News Service

 

November 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The nonprofit  Leapfrog Group has released its fall 2019 ratings of safety at hospitals nationwide.  Among hospitals in San Diego’s inland region, only Alvarado Hospital received an “A” rating for safety. Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Kaiser Foundation Zion and Pomerado Hospital in Poway all received “B” ratings.  

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: EAST COUNTY YOUTH COALITION IS THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photo:  East County Youth Coalition members hold up the blankets they are making to help families in need who have been affected by domestic violence, substance abuse in the home, and children in foster care. The blankets will be completed in time for the holidays. Photo courtesy IPS

 

November 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Youth in East County are making an important positive impact on health and safety in their communities and are acquiring leadership skills in the process. Through the East County Youth Coalition, high school students advocate against underage alcohol and drug use and focus on activities that promote healthy schools, neighborhoods, and families. Coalition members are especially concerned about adults who make it easy to obtain alcohol and marijuana, both in the home and through retail stores. 

KAISER WORKERS POSTPONE STRIKE DUE TO DEATH OF KAISER CEO BERNARD TYSON

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2019 (San Diego) – Kaiser Permanente Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard J. Tyson passed away unexpectedly yesterday morning in his sleep, the healthcare organization announced.  Today, 170 National Union of Healthcare Workers voted unanimously to postpone a planned 5-day statewide strike of mental health employees due to Tyson’s passing.

FROZEN RASPBERRIES RECALLED FOR POSSIBLE HEPATITIS A CONTAMINATION

By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo: Packages of berries that were sold at several local Aldi stores that have been recalled for possible hepatitis A contamination (CDC.gov)
 
November 7, 2019 (San Diego) - Frozen raspberry products recalled for possible hepatitis A contamination were sold in eight Aldi supermarkets in San Diego County and contained in yogurt parfaits served at cafeterias in the Escondido Union School District, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Friday. There have been no illnesses reported due to exposure to these products.

SIMMONS CHICKEN PRODUCTS RECALLED DUE TO HIGH RISK OF METAL CONTAMINATION

East County News Service

Photo:  Creative Commons

November 7, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – Over 2 million pounds of chicken products sold to institutions in eight states including California have been recalled by Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc. due to metal contamination.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

COUNTY TO ADD PSYCHIATRIC BEDS, STRENGTHEN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES

Photo: In collaboration with UC San Diego Health and Scripps Health, the County plans to open a 60-bed psychiatric facility in Hillcrest at a County-owned property on Third Ave. that has been vacant for years.
 
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
November 5, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors October 29th got an update on and voted to take the next step in immediate and long-term strategies to support San Diegans in psychiatric crisis and to help prevent such incidents from occurring.
 

MERCY AIR CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY AS A FLYING EMERGENCY ROOM

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo, left:  Laura Elliott and Russell Haight.

November 3, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Laura Elliott and Russell Haight work in an emergency room. A flying one. Both are employed by Mercy Air, owned by Air Methods, an air ambulance provider that works out of El Cajon’s Gillespie Field as well as other locations.

FLU ACTIVITY STEADY AGAIN THIS WEEK

Flu Vaccine
 
By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
November 1, 2019 (San Diego) - Flu activity saw a slight decline in the County this week with 30 lab-confirmed cases, the County of San Diego confirmed yesterday, Halloween: six fewer than the number of cases reported last week. That brings the 2019-20 flu season total to 362 cases, compared to 130 at this time last year. County public health officials continue to emphasize the importance of getting the flu vaccine. There have also been two deaths so far this flu season.
 
The two formulas approved for the 2019-2020 flu season by the Centers for Disease Control are Fluzone High Dose, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, and Fluad, manufactured by Seqirus. Rite-Aid and CVS offer the 2019-20 flu vaccine, according to google.

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