Friday, December 15, 2017

OCMA Blog

Video Message from County of Orange Public Health Officer, Eric G. Handler, M.D.

Earlier this month Eric G. Handler, M.D., County of Orange Public Health Officer, visited the OCMA offices to discuss issues of importance to him.  These include Zika and West Nile Virus, social determinants of health. and drowning.  Another area of focus is joining together behavioral health and primary care to provide an integrated system of care for individuals with severe behavioral issues as well as returning veterans.  

Click here to listen to Dr. Handler's entire message.

Health Advisory-Zika Virus In Latin America

Click Here to view the CDC advisory which reviews the epidemiology, recognition and management of Zika virus infection.

To view the Health Advisory from the California Department of Public Health, please Click Here

In response to the CDC Health Alert regarding the Zika Virus in Latin America, CDPH recommends special travel precautions for pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant.  Call the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Epidemiology and Assessment Program at 714-834-8180 with any questions or to report a suspect case of Zika.


OC In+Care Newsletter-Issue 5

Newsletter for providers serving people living with HIV/AIDS in Orange County

In the last issue of the In+Care newsletter, we discussed the importance of engaging clients in medical care. In this issue, we will talk about the Continuum of Care, also known as the Treatment Cascade, and how you can help your patients/clients understand the importance of HIV viral load suppression.

The Continuum of Care explains the following stages of HIV care:

  • HIV Infected the total number of people who are estimated to be HIV positive.
  • HIV Diagnosed is the total number of people who have been diagnosed with HIV disease.
  • In HIV Care is the total number of people who see their doctor regularly (at least once every 6 months).
  • Undetectable HIV Viral Load is a HIV viral load count below 200 copies/mL in the blood.stages of HIV care:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 14% (or about one in seven) of all people living with HIV disease (PLWHD) in the United States (US) do not know they are positive. Furthermore, about half (52%) of all PLWHD are in HIV care and only 40% of all are virally suppressed in the US.

In Orange County, an estimated 6,698 individuals were living with HIV as of 2014. Of that, 67% (4,492 of 6,698) were linked to a HIV primary care provider and 58% (3,912 of 6,698) had an undetectable HIV viral load. In comparison to national and California data, Orange County fairs better in all stages of the cascade.d count below 200 copies/mL in the blood.stages of HIV care:

Orange County goal for PLWHD by the end of 2015 are:

  • 85% will be in HIV care 
  • 67% with undetectable HIV viral load

Viral load suppression is the key to staying healthy. If your patients/clients have been prescribed antiretroviral therapy, help remind them the importance of taking their HIV medication as prescribed.

According to the CDC, those who are currently on HIV medication will live more than twice as long as individuals who are not on HIV medication.1 Furthermore, suppressed viral load reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others. A suppressed viral load may also slow the progression towards AIDS.2

In late 2014, Orange County implemented a campaign to remind PLWHD of the importance of seeing their doctor regularly. Due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nearly 700 PLWHD have transitioned from Ryan White-funded medical care to public and private insurance. This transition has significantly changed how PLWHD access medical care. As a service provider, it is important to support and facilitate continued medical care access and adherence. The following are simple tips to promote medical care adherence:

If you are a medical provider, ask your patients...

  • What Questions do you have about your health?
  • Do you understand your numbers (viral load, CD4, etc.)?

As a provider, you can also...

  • Do reminder calls before visits
  • Follow up on missed visits
  • Coordinate care/adherence with the patient's Ryan White case manager, when appropriate

If you are a support service provider, ask your clients... 

  • When did you last see your HIV doctor?
  • Do you know your numbers (HIV viral load and CD4)?
  • Is your next appointment with your HIV doctor within 6 months?
  • Do you have any questions for your doctor?

The HIV Planning and Coordination website has resources for persons living with HIV. The website can be accessed via the link below:
http://ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/dcepi/hiv/libehiv

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Signs, November 2014
2 http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines/html/1/adult-and-adolescent-arv-guidelines/458/plasma-hiv-1-rna--viral-load--and-cd4-count-monitoring

Our+Care OC is a project of the Orange County HIV Quality Management Committee. The HIV Quality Management Committee works to increase the quality of Ryan White services. For more information about the committee, please call (714) 834-8063. If you have feedback or suggestions for future newsletters, please contact Mindy He at MHe@ochca.com.

Tamarra Jones, DrPH

Program Manager

HIV Planning and Coordination

Orange County Health Care Agency 

 


Measles Outbreak Update February 2015

Measles Outbreak Update
February 17, 2015


Measles cases have continued to occur in Orange County with 35 cases confirmed this year. In California, as of February 13, 2015, 113 cases have been confirmed since December 2014; 20% of those with known hospitalization status have been hospitalized. Of those with known vaccination status, the majority are unvaccinated, with most of these because of personal belief exemptions.

Orange County Cases
Of the 35 Orange County cases, 14 are children, 13 of whom were not vaccinated.
Thirteen of our cases spent time at the Disneyland Parks since mid-December, 2014. Sixteen cases had no known source, signaling ongoing transmission in the community. The most recent cases were contacts to previously known cases.

Vaccination is Key to Prevention
Although some of the confirmed cases occurred in people with a history of vaccination, their illness is generally milder and typically not as infectious. Vaccination is critical to prevent the ongoing spread of disease.

  • Although the overall risk of getting measles in Orange County remains low, residents who have not received any measles-containing vaccine and do not have any other evidence of immunity should get a dose of MMR vaccine.
  • Two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MMR vaccine) are more than 99% effective in preventing measles. The first dose is routinely given at 12-15 months of age, with the second dose usually at age 4-6 years. The second dose may be given any time ≥28 days after the first dose.
  • All healthcare workers (HCW), including those born before 1957, should have two documented doses of MMR or serologic evidence of measles immunity. HCW who are exposed to a case of measles may be excluded from work until they provide evidence of immunity.
  • If exposed to measles, all, children and school/child care staff without documented immunity will be removed from work/school/child care from day 7 after the first exposure to day 21 after the last exposure.

Report any suspect case of measles to the Orange County Health Care Agency immediately at 714-834-8180 (714-628-7008 after hours).

For more information on measles, see www.ochealthinfo.com/measles. Information on vaccination recommendations by age group is available in the previous advisory dated 1/26/2015 and guidance on clinical presentation, infection control, reporting, and testing is in the 1/21/2015 advisory.

click here to download this measles outbreak update.


Measles Outbreak Update

Measles has now been confirmed in 22 Orange County (OC) residents, signaling ongoing transmission in the community and at the Disneyland Parks. Thirteen of these cases spent time at the Disneyland Parks since mid-December, 2014. In California, as of today, 59 cases of measles have been confirmed since the end of December; 42 of these had an exposure in December at Disneyland or California Adventure Park. Additional cases have been identified that were at the park while infectious in January, including within the last week. Nine of the OC cases have no Disney or other known measles exposure. Additional cases are expected in Orange County.
 

Of the 22 Orange County cases, five are children, of whom four were not vaccinated and two were hospitalized. Although some of the confirmed cases occurred in people with a history of vaccination, their illness is generally milder and typically not as infectious. Vaccination is critical to prevent the ongoing spread of disease.

  • Although the overall risk of getting measles in Orange County remains low, residents who have not received any measles-containing vaccine should get a dose of MMR vaccine.
  • Two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MMR vaccine) are more than 99% effective in preventing measles. The first dose is routinely given at 12-15 months of age, with the second dose usually at age 4-6 years. The second dose may be given any time ≥28 days after the first dose.
  • All healthcare workers (HCW) should have two documented doses of MMR or serologic evidence of measles immunity. HCW who are exposed to a case of measles may be excluded from work until they provide evidence of immunity.
  • If exposed to measles, all, children and school/child care staff without documented immunity will be removed from work/school/child care from day 7 after the first exposure to day 21 after the last exposure.

Measles is highly contagious and people can be exposed by just being in the same room as a measles case during their infectious period (4 days before onset of rash until 4 days after). Several of the cases have potentially exposed patients in healthcare facilities, resulting in large contact investigations and persons needing immune globulin administration, post-exposure vaccination, or serologic testing for immunity.

  • Any patient suspected of having measles should be masked immediately and promptly moved to a negative pressure room when available. Providers seeing patients in an office or clinic setting should consider options such as arranging to see suspect measles cases after all other patients have left the office, or assessing patients outside of the building to avoid having a potentially infectious patient enter the office.
  • Notify Orange County Public Health Epidemiology immediately at 714-834-8180 (or 714-628-7008 after hours) about any suspect cases. Do not wait for laboratory confirmation before reporting a suspect case. Do NOT refer patients to Public Health without first discussing with one of our staff.
  • DO NOT send potentially infectious suspect measles patients to a reference laboratory for specimen collection.

For more information on measles, see www.ochealthinfo.com/measles.


Updated Ebola Guidance from the OC Health Care Agency

The Ebola epidemic of West Africa has led to 13268 cases as of November 7, with 8168 confirmed cases and 4960 deaths. The epidemic seems likely to continue for at least the next several months. There still have been no suspect Ebola cases in Orange County.

To date, there have been no confirmed Ebola cases in California.
 The Orange County Health Care Agency will be monitoring persons returning from countries with widespread Ebola virus transmission (currently Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone) or who have had contact with a confirmed Ebola case within the previous 21 days.  The risk of Ebola in the U.S. remains low, and the risk of a symptomatic (infectious) patient that we are not following presenting unannounced for health care is even lower, but something we all continue to prepare for.  The following recently released documents may be of assistance to you in your preparations:

1)      Algorithm for Ambulatory Care Evaluation of Patients with Possible Ebola Virus Disease – CDC document, modified by OCHCA with Orange County contact information (attached)

2)      Algorithm for Emergency Department Evaluation and Management of Patients with Possible Ebola Virus Disease:  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ed-algorithm-management-patients-possible-ebola.pdf 

3)      Web-based training- Guidance for Donning and Doffing PPE during Management of Patients with Ebola in US Hospitals:  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/ppe-training/index.html 

Traveler Assessment
Travelers coming from a country experiencing widespread Ebola disease will be assessed upon arrival to one of five airports in the United States. Information about the traveler will be passed on to local public health departments. The Orange County Health Care Agency will monitor any such travelers in our county daily to assess for symptoms. A hospital will be pre-designated for each of these travelers, based on factors such as a patient’s insurance type and proximity to a facility. That facility will be contacted ahead of time, to assure that the patient receives prompt care if needed. However, it is not certain that this system will identify all travelers from the affected areas, so area hospitals need to be prepared in the event that a suspect case arrives at their facility without prior warning.

Healthcare providers should assess all patients for a history of travel to countries experiencing widespread Ebola disease, which includes Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia at this point. Providers should report any suspect Ebola cases to the Orange County Health Care Agency immediately at 714-834-8180 during regular hours, or 714-628-7008 after hours.

All Orange County hospitals need to prepare to isolate and evaluate a potential Ebola patient.

There is no designated Ebola hospital in Orange County. University of California-Irvine Medical Center has indicated that it will accept one confirmed Ebola case. However, suspect cases identified at a different hospital will need to be cared for at that facility until the case is confirmed, which may take from 24-72 hours. For suspect cases that present to an outpatient clinical setting not associated with a hospital, Orange County Public Health will facilitate transfer of the patient to the closest appropriate facility.

Orange County Health Care Agency can assist with testing a patient for possible Ebola disease.

The test of choice for Ebola is serum PCR. Tests can be falsely negative if performed in the first three days of illness. Patients who test serum PCR negative but have a clinical and exposure history consistent with Ebola may need repeat testing performed. This test is currently performed at selected public health laboratories.

For more information, see http://ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/dcepi/epi/disease/ebola . For healthcare worker recommendations, see www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/index.html. A hospital checklist for Ebola preparedness can be found at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/hospital-checklist-ebola-preparedness.pdf.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

If you have any comments or questions or would like to be added to the distribution list, please email us at epi@ochca.com 

HCA/Epidemiology & Assessment
1719 W. 17th St., Bldg. C/79
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(P) 714-834-8180
(F) 714-834-8196


Ebola Resources from the OC Health Care Agency

The first case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) diagnosed in the United States was confirmed on September 30, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. However, the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States remains low. Health care providers should remember to obtain a travel history for any patients with febrile illness, and be familiar with Ebola's clinical presentation and infection control requirements.  Any suspect cases meeting the clinical and epidemiologic criteria for EVD should be reported immediately to Orange County Public Health Epidemiology at 714-834-8180. 


For more information, see www.ochealthinfo.com/ebola

For specific health care-related guidance including infection prevention and environmental infection control precautions, see www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/index.html

To receive alerts, updates and newsletters on communicable disease issues affecting Orange County, email epi@ochca.com.


OC In+Care Newsletter

Beginning in August 2014, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) will be taking a closer look at the medical visit frequency of PLWHD in Orange County. OCHCA is interested in increasing the percentage of HIV-positive clients who are maintained in continuous medical care. It is important for patients to stay in continuous care and see their doctor(s) regularly because it may lead to suppressed viral loads and ultimately overall better health outcomes2. In April 2014, the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) published quality management performance measures and recommended that all individuals living with HIV disease should see their medical provider at least once every six months.

Orange County has a goal to increase the percent of PLWHD who are in continuous HIV medical care. Currently 83% of HIV-positive clients in Ryan White–funded medical care are seeing their doctor regularly. Only 60% of all HIV-positive clients in Orange County are maintained in continuous care3. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more clients will access medical care outside the Ryan White system; therefore, the goal is to increase the percentage of HIV-positive clients in continuous medical care for Orange County to 72% by the end of 2015.

The following table provides an overview of the percent in continuous care compared to the 2015 goal.

In Medical Care  Ryan White  All OC 
2010  79%  N/A
2013  83%  60%
2015 (goal)  84%  72%

Orange County-Wide Quality Improvement Goal

Maintenance in medical care is the primary goal of the Ryan White program and all services provided should help ensure HIV medical care adherence. In order to meet the 2015 goal for Orange County, all service providers should ask their clients “When was the last time you saw your doctor?” and “When is your next doctor’s appointment?” Whether you are a mental health provider, or a case manager, food bank provider, or other service provider, you should be asking your clients about their medical care and help them make it to their medical appointments, as appropriate. This quality improvement activity intends to engage patients in HIV medical care from all points of access.

Providers are also encouraged to create their own quality improvement activities to increase retention in care. For example, medical providers can try different reminder alerts to remind clients of their appointment. Case managers may use a strength-based approach to assist clients in attending their next medical appointment.

It is very important to have a good relationship between case managers and doctors. A good relationship allows for better coordination of care between providers. A client’s case manager and medical provider should be communicating about the client’s care on a regular basis.

From PLWHD
Each client is unique and has different needs and different views of what they would like to see from their doctor. See “My Doctor is the Best Because” box for some of the things clients look for in a medical provider.

How to engage PLWHD
  • Ask them if there are any barriers to attending medical appointments. Link them to support services, if applicable.
  • Acknowledge their personal strengths and help them apply it to their treatment plan.
  • Show that you care about their general well-being.
  • Listen to their concerns and respond to their questions.
  • Encourage clients to ask questions.
  • Create a quality improvement activity to retain clients in care.
  • Use posters, brochures, reminder cards to help clients remember to attend their medical appointment.
  • Explain how important it is to attend medical visits even if they are feeling healthy so they can monitor changes in their health, get their medications and review their CD4 and Viral Load.

OC In+Care is a project of the Orange County HIV Quality Management Committee. The HIV Quality Management Committee works to increase the quality of Ryan White services. For more information about the committee, please call (714) 834-8063. If you have feedback or topic suggestions for future newsletters, please contact Mindy He at Mhe@ochca.com.


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