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.


Enterovirus D68 Identified in San Diego and Ventura Counties

September 19, 2014
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has confirmed four enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) cases in patients in San Diego (3) and Ventura (1) counties. No cases of enterovirus D68 have been identified in Orange County. However, additional cases are likely to be reported in California, and cases may be identified in Orange County in the near future.



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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