Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 5 - Issue 5 - May 2017
In this Issue: Carfentanil | End of Life Option | Norovirus | Zika | Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer
Public Health Newsletter Banner
A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Elephant Tranquilizer New Threat 

Marin County's Emergency Medical Services Agency (EMS) is monitoring drug overdoses and use of naloxone (Narcan) to prevent deaths.  This month, we received the first report of an overdose from Carfentanil.  Carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.  It can cause overdose in accidental exposures to particles through skin or inhaled.  This is a reminder to take a substance use and overdose history and to prescribe naloxone for patients at risk for overdose.

 End of Life Option

On Monday, June 12, 2017, the Health Council of Marin (HCM) will hold its Annual Community Education Forum.  The Council is advisory to the Board of Supervisors and the Marin County Department of Health & Human Services on public health and environmental health issues.   Lonny Shavelson, MD, will be the speaker on this year's topic:  California's End of Life Option Act:  A First Year Bedside Report.    The event will be held in the Library of Marin General Hospital, 250 Bon Air Road, Greenbrae, at 7:00 pm.


This month, the Bay Area experienced a surge in gastro-intestinal illness among students and staff in the school setting, which was most likely caused by the highly contagious Noroviruses. While symptoms may only last for one day, people are highly infectious for 48 hours after symptoms resolve.  The most important steps to prevent the spread of Norovirus in schools are:  1) stay home while sick and for another 48 hours after symptoms go away, 2) wash hands after using the bathroom and before eating, and 3) regularly clean with appropriate disinfectant all contaminated and high-touch surfaces.

Mosquitos and Zika

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is urging all Californians, in an effort to prevent Zika and  West Nile Virus infections and eliminate mosquito populations, to remove standing water around their homes and businesses.  There is also updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Zika testing in pregnant women.  Visit Marin HHS' Zika web page for more information.

Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer

Summer time and pool parties are upon us.  As the weather warms up, so does the risk of drowning.  (Drowning is a leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4.)  As providers, we can encourage parents to prevent unintentional drownings by taking precautions.  One of our friends recently hired a high school student with a lifeguard certificate to supervise their child's birthday pool party.  It was reassuring to have an extra pair of eyes when 15 kids of varying ages and swim abilities were screaming "Marco Polo."  Stay safe and have a fun summer.
Warm Regards,
Lisa Santora
HHS Website
HHS Youtube
Copyright © 2017
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
(415) 473-4163
County of Marin Logo

Our mailing address is:
3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901