Health care-associated infections (HAIs) constitute a risk to patients and health care facilities. Estimates indicate that 240,000 patients admitted to California hospitals annually develop HAIs, contributing to the suffering associated with illness and increasing costs to the health care system by approximately $3.1 billion. Literature suggests that a significant proportion of HAIs can be eliminated with intensive surveillance and prevention programs. CHA supports decreasing the number of HAIs through a deliberate and systematic approach that addresses infection-control program infrastructure and oversight. CHA also supports the public reporting of meaningful, scientifically valid information related to HAIs. The most prevalent HAIs (approximately 80 percent) are urinary tract infections, surgical-site infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and central-line blood stream infections.
The HAI Advisory Committee - created by SB 739 (Chapter 526, Statutes of 2006) — recommends methods for preventing and reporting HAIs to the California Department of Public Health.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has notified California health care facilities of updated information regarding the novel coronavirus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). To date, no cases of MERS-CoV have been identified in the U.S.; however, health care facilities are still encouraged to ensure infection control policies are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s MERS-CoV guidance. The attached CDPH All Facilities Letter (AFL 13-23) includes updates on the incubation period, surveillance, patient evaluation, infection control and laboratory precautions to prevent transmission.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an update on the nationwide shortage of tuberculin skin test antigen solutions. Although supplies were restored in early June, TUBERSOL® is in shortage again until at least the middle of October. Updating and superseding CDC’s April 2013 recommendations, the new notice advises public health officials, clinicians and health care workers in occupational health and infection control on how to adapt testing protocols to the recurrent shortage. The entire summary, background and recommendations are available on the CDC website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now has an expanded-access investigational new drug protocol in effect with the Food and Drug Administration to make miltefosine available directly from CDC for treatment of free-living ameba infections in the U.S. A recent update issued by the Health Alert Network — including background information, recommendations and links to additional resources — is available on the CDC website at http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00354.asp.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health update regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The update includes background information and interim guidance to health care providers, as well as state and local health departments, on who should be tested for MERS-CoV infection, changes to CDC’s “probable case” definition and clarification of which specimens should be obtained when testing for MERS-CoV. To date, no cases have been reported in the U.S. To review the complete CDC update, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00352.asp.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a health advisory alert regarding the voluntary nationwide recall of all products for sterile use from Specialty Compounding, LLC, a pharmacy located in Cedar Park, TX. Recent reports of bacterial bloodstream infections — caused by Rhodococcus equi — are potentially related to the company’s calcium gluconate infusions, and two of the 15 affected patients have died. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requesting incidents of any human isolation of Rhodococcus spp. from blood cultures since Feb. 1 be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org. Background information and recommendations are available on the CDC website. The FDA press release is available on the FDA Safety web page.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued updated guidance for health care providers on hepatitis A post-exposure prophylaxis. The new update supersedes guidance issued on May 31 and includes helpful information about which patients should receive immunoglobulin (IG) and which patients are recommended to receive a vaccine and/or IG. In addition, health care providers are being alerted to the fact that neither the 2 mL nor the 10 mL size vials of GamaSTAN contain a preservative, and that both size vials are considered single use. The expiration date on GamaSTAN vials applies only to properly stored, unpunctured vials. More information on the use of single-dose vials is available on the CDC website. The CDPH guidance is attached.
California Healthlinereported this week on the threat of valley fever transmission in California prisons. Researchers estimate that more than 150,000 people nationwide contract valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, each year. Commonly found in soil — especially in California’s Central Valley — the cocci fungus is contracted when its spores become airborne. In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating the deaths of more than 30 inmates who had contracted valley fever at Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons, both in the San Joaquin Valley. Their deaths resulted in a federal order for 3,200 inmates to be relocated, but Gov. Brown’s administration has challenged the order in court. More information on valley fever is available at the California Department of Public Health website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an official health update on the avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, including new recommendations on who should be tested for H7N9 in the U.S. The update contains the latest epidemiology of H7N9 cases, indicating that almost all H7N9 human infections have resulted in severe respiratory illness. While clusters of infection have been identified in China, no cases of human infection have been detected in the U.S. The new recommendation is to test only patients with an appropriate exposure history and severe respiratory illness requiring hospitalization. For more information, visit the CDC Health Alert Network or see the attached interim surveillance recommendations issued by the World Health Organization.
In January, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a shortage of some forms of doxycycline and unavailability of tetracycline due to increased demand and manufacturing issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week released a notice providing advice on alternatives to doxycycline. Detailed explanations of the rationale for the recommendations can be found in the CDC’s June 12 Health Advisory. For additional information on the availability of doxycycline, visit the FDA Drug Shortage website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a notice to health care providers updating guidelines for evaluating the severe respiratory illness associated with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). To date, all cases have a direct or indirect link to one of four countries: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. No cases have been reported in the United States. Recommendations and guidance on MERS-CoV are available at the CDC MERS website.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued an All Facility Letter (AFL) informing health facilities of recent reports of health care associated transmission of a novel coronavirus, known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined the virus is potentially a significant public health emergency justifying an emergency use authorization by the FDA for in vitro diagnostics to detect it. Person-to-person transmissions have been identified in multiple countries. Since May, a total of 21 cases have been confirmed, nine of which were fatal. To date, no cases of MERS-CoV have been identified in the United States. See the attached AFL for patient evaluation, infection control guidance and laboratory biosafety precautions. More information is also available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.