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Pertussis on the rise in California

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reporting an uptick in cases of pertussis since the beginning of the year. According to the state, a total of 2,649 cases have been reported, with more than 800 new cases reported in April alone—the highest monthly count since the 2010 epidemic. Pertussis can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications in infants, especially within the first 6 months of life.Two infant mortalities have been reported this year—the first infant pertussis fatalities reported since 2010. In 2010, 9,159 total cases were reported, including ...

Soda warning label bill clears committee

A California Medical Association-sponsored bill that would place safety warning labels on sodas and other sugary beverages sold in California has cleared California’s Senate Health Committee on a 5-2 vote.   The first-in-the-nation legislation (SB 1000) was introduced by State Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and would ensure that all Californians are aware of the critical scientific information linking sugary drink consumption to exploding rates of diabetes and obesity.   The bill would place a simple warning on the front of all beverage containers with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories per ...

April - National Donate Life Month

In honor of Donate Life Month, the California Medical Association (CMA) and the CMA Foundation are encouraging physicians to talk to their patients about the importance of organ and tissue donation, particularly in underserved ethnic communities.   More than 120,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant in the United States, more than half of these are multicultural patients. That’s because some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver that are best treated through transplantation are found more frequently in these populations. For example, African Americans and other ...

Health Advisory - Measles Update - April 2, 2014

Maxwell Ohikhuare, M.D., Health Officer, County of San Bernardino Measles Update: 49 Measles Cases in the State of California in 2014 Look for Signs of this Highly Contagious Disease Measles activity continues to be high in California this year. As of March 27, 2014, 49 confirmed measles cases with onset in 2014 had been reported to California Department of Public Health. In 2013, four measles cases had been reported by this date. Among the 2014 cases, 11 patients had traveled outside of North and South America with travel to the Philippines (n=8), ...

California Immunization Coalition Summit coming in May

The 2014 California Immunization Summit will be held on May 4-5 in Sacramento. This annual summit is an opportunity for physicians to learn about community-based programs that have increased vaccination rates, and how to adapt and apply key lessons from successful programs. The summit is presented by the California Immunization Coalition, a public-private partnership dedicated to achieving and maintaining full immunization protection for all Californians to promote health and prevent serious illness.   This year's program, “Harnessing the Power of Community,” includes two keynote speakers, Melinda Wharton, M.D., M.P.H., acting director ...

CA Assemblyman Richard Pan, MD receives national government service award

Assemblyman Richard Pan, M.D., a Sacramento pediatrician and representative for the California State Assembly's 9th District, this week received the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service from the American Medical Association (AMA). The award was presented during the AMA's National Advocacy Conference this week in Washington, D.C.     “Dr. Pan’s outstanding leadership in public health has helped California families build safer, healthier communities,” said AMA Chair David O. Barbe, M.D., MHA. “Dr. Pan is recognized for his commitment to improving the lives of Californians for generations to come ...

Field Poll shows broad voter support for health warning labels on sugar sweetened beverages

Sacramento- The California Medical Association (CMA) is pleased to see the recently released poll figures suggesting that California voters support the notion of applying health-warning labels on sodas and other sugar sweetened beverages. The poll, which was conducted by The Field Poll and The California Endowment, found that 74 percent of voters support the requirement to apply health warning labels to sugar sweetened beverages, with 52 percent of voters “strongly” endorsing the requirement. Support for the labeling of potentially harmful beverages was also bipartisan, with 80 percent of Democrats, 64 ...

November is national COPD awareness month

In recognition of national COPD awareness month, the California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation is encouraging physicians to talk to their patients about simple measures they can take to improve their lung function.   COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a serious lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, it recently surpassed stroke as the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million are likely to have the disease ...

CDPH launches new public health reporting gateway

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently launched an online portal for public health reporting called the CDPH Health Information Exchange (HIE) Gateway. The gateway will serve as a single point of entry for data submission to many state public health programs, including the California Immunization Registries (CAIR) and the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE).   The goal of the gateway is to improve upon data exchange, analysis and reporting capabilities, while helping hospitals and health care professionals meet the public health reporting objectives under the Centers for Medicare ...

Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

More than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs, this according to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study also revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.   Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps prevent abuse and helps keep pharmaceuticals out of landfills and waterways. More than 280 locations throughout California will be accepting unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances, as ...