Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 6 - Issue 7 - July / August 2018
In this Issue: Wildfire | Climate Change | Cyclosporiasis | Overdoses | Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer
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A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Wildfire Advisory

California is experiencing unprecedented wildfires this summer, affecting large parts of the state.  As local families travel to areas affected by the fires, Marin County Public Health recommends: 
  • Avoiding areas with poor air quality due to wildfire smoke, especially if traveling with people in sensitive groups, including people with cardiovascular and/or lung disease, infants and children, older adults, persons with obesity or diabetes, and expectant mothers; and
  • If travel to an affected area is unavoidable or essential, then monitor air quality frequently and follow EPA guidelines to reduce smoke exposure and reduce health consequences.

Climate Change Health Impacts:  Extreme Heat 

Heat waves are increasing in frequency and severity, resulting in a higher rate of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.  The most common diagnoses in heat-related hospital admissions include the following preventable conditions:  heat stroke and sunstroke, fluid and electrolyte disorders, and acute kidney failure.  The risk of hospitalization is greatest in adults older than 85 (primarily due to volume depletion and heat exhaustion).  Households need to prepare for heat and learn symptoms and what to do in case of heat-related illness.  

Increase in Cyclosporiasis Cases in the Bay Area

Since May 2018, there has been an increase in the reported number of domestically-acquired cyclosporiasis cases in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Notably, the first case was diagnosed in a Marin County resident.  Health care providers are encouraged to consider cyclosporiasis in patients presenting with compatible symptoms, such as persistent diarrhea, and to request specific testing for Cyclospora.

Reaching Out to Opioid Overdose Survivors

The H&HS Community Epidemiology Program is piloting a project where individuals who experience non-fatal opioid overdoses served by the Marin County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system are identified and connected to care.  We are partnering with Bright Heart Health, who provides professional outreach and referrals to treatment and recovery services, such as a naloxone or buprenorphine prescription and a warm hand-off to a treatment program.  This effort is a multisectoral collaboration, including Public Health, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and community providers.

Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer

On my first day at work in Marin County, I "participated" in a full-scale exercise at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  Basically, I watched -- I had never been in an EOC environment.  I mistakenly thought that I wouldn't be responding to an emergency anytime in the near future.  A couple of days later, I deployed to Lake County with the Marin Medical Reserve Corps (MMRC).  In 2017, I deployed to the EOC to coordinate shelter operations at the Marin Center during the North Bay fires.  As I write today, the MMRC stands ready again to deploy to Lake County to provide medical services.  Our ability to serve our communities depends on our own preparedness.  I encourage you to visit FireSafe Marin and review your evacuation plans with your family, friends, and neighbors.  Also, consider joining the new MMRC Surge Team.  The only requirements to join are (1) being an actively licensed health care provider; (2) maintaining an active practice; and (3) registering online with the "Marin County Medical Reserve Corps" at
With gratitude,
HHS Website
HHS Youtube
Copyright © 2018
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
(415) 473-4163
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Our mailing address is:
3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901