Epidemiology & Assessment

Wound Botulism Associated with Heroin Use in Orange County

December 15, 2014

Three cases of presumed botulism associated with heroin use have been reported in Orange County adults in the last month. All were hospitalized and two required intensive care unit admission. Wound botulism has been seen in injection drug users in California since the 1990’s, and botulism due to injection drug use now makes up three quarters of all wound botulism cases. Most persons with injection drug-associated cases are users of so-called “black tar heroin.”


Substantial Increase in Influenza Reports over Previous Three Weeks in Orange County

December 15, 2014
Health care professionals should encourage all patients 6 months and older who have not yet received an influenza vaccine this season to be vaccinated against influenza. To find a location, visit Flu Vaccine Finder: http://flushot.healthmap.org/. For publicly funded influenza vaccine clinics: http://ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/family/flu.


Orange County Continues to Experience West Nile Virus ActivitySeptember 26, 2014
Orange County continues to see West Nile Virus activity, with a total of 159 human infections reported to date. The County's previous high for a season was 79 cases in 2008. Santa Ana has had the highest number of infections of any city, but cases are now being reported throughout the county.



Certain communicable diseases are required to be reported to the local health department (see List of Reportable Diseases) as per the State of California Code of Regulations. Epidemiology and Assessment (E&A) unit's medical directors, public health nurses, and epidemiologists investigate individual cases and outbreaks of reported communicable diseases. We monitor disease trends, and often provide current statistics and other information to doctors, hospitals, the public and news media. We may also provide education or preventive treatment in some circumstances. Although other units handle reports of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), we do monitor their trends in Orange County.

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