Hepatitis A Vaccination Available at the Health Department
If you have eaten any Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, the Hep A vaccine may prevent disease if given within a 14-day time period.
The Long Beach Department of Health & Human services is providing free vaccine (at our headquarters at 2525 Grand Avenue in Long Beach) for those who have eaten this product within the 14-day time period and are not able to access vaccine from their health care providers. Please call our Epidemiology Division at (562) 570-4110 or (562) 570-4301 if you have questions about getting vaccinated.
Hepatitis A Health Alert - "Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend" (Frozen Berry Mix)
On Friday, May 31, 2013, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health announced a multi-state investigation concerning an outbreak of Hepatitis A, potentially associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend (Frozen Berry Mix). The Long Beach Health Department advises consumers and residents to avoid eating this product, which at this time is only known to have been sold and distributed at Costco. There have been a few confirmed cases in California, but none currently in Long Beach. Please read the following consumer tips:
- Do not eat "Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxident Blend" and discard any remaining product from your freezers. Even if some of the product has been eaten without anyone in your home becoming ill, the rest of the product should be discarded.
- Hepatitis A vaccination can prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure to the contaminated product.
- If you consumed this product in the last two weeks and have never received a Hepatitis A vaccine, contact your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated.
- If you don't have a health care provider (usually your doctor) contact the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services at (562) 570-4302.
- If you have already received the Hepatitis A vaccination in the past, or if you have actually had Hepatitis A, you are unlikely to become ill with the disease.
- Contact your health care provider right away if you develop any of these symptoms:
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Abdominal pain
- Pale stools
- Dark urine
- Wash your hands thoroughly right after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing, serving, or eating food.
For more information, please visit the California Department of Public Health website at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/CDCHepAGeneralFactSheet.pdf or the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/index.html
For further information, please contact us at (562) 570-4302.
Grill it Safe!
With the start of the summer just around the corner, the Health Department would like to remind you to practice the following "Grill it Safe" food safety guidelines.
Meningococcal Disease (Meningitis) Fact Sheet
In response to recent press coverage regarding a meningococcal case identified in Los Angeles County, and recent outbreaks identified in New York City and Tijuana Mexico, the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is releasing the following information on meningococcal disease (meningitis) for educational purposes. Please click on the links below:
- Meningococcal Disease Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet
Reusable Grocery Bag Use and Care
Reusable grocery bags are good for the environment, but did you know that you should clean your bags frequently to prevent bacteria from contaminating them, and to keep you and your family safe from illness. The Health Department has created the following informational flyer on the proper use and care of your reusable grocery bags.
Tips for the Care and Cleaning of Reusable Grocery Bags
VIAL of Life Program
The VIAL of Life program is a way to make important life-saving information available to emergency medical responders in the event that you are injured or become ill at your home and are unable to communicate important medical information. The VIAL of Life consists of a medical history form, a container to put that form in, and a sticker for your front door indicating to emergency responders the presence of a VIAL in your home. The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services distributes VIALs to the public at our main facility at 2525 Grand Ave.
For more information go to www.longbeach.gov/fire/vialoflife/
Health Department Now Offers Online Bill Pay Feature
The Health Department now offers the convenience of being able to pay your bill online. Most Health Department bills can now be paid online by clicking the "Pay Now" button below. Of course, you can also pay your bill by mail or by phone by calling (562) 570-7600 (Press Option #3).
Department of Health & Human Services Overview
Have you ever had questions regarding the Long Beach Health Department? Ever wondered what we do? What services we provide? Where we are located?
These questions and more are answered in our recently published Department Overview. The overview provides a comprehensive look at the Health Department, and the myriad of programs and services designed to keep Long Beach a healthy environment in which to live, work and play.
New Cottage Food Legislation (California Homemade Food Act)
Assembly Bill 1616, known as the Cottage Food Bill, was passed into law on September 21, 2012 and becomes effective on January 1, 2013. This law allows for the manufacturing and sale of specific low-risk food products from a private home.
Click here for more information on starting a Cottage Food Operation
Health Care Reform Questions?
Learn the basic facts about health reform and how the changes in law affect you and your families. Click here to find out more.
Long Beach Public Health Officials Issue Recommendations to Prevent Flea-Borne Typhus
The City of Long Beach is alerting the public about flea-borne typhus, a disease transmitted to humans by fleas. Flea-borne typhus (Murine Typhus) is a disease spread by fleas living on rodents (rats, mice), opossums, cats, dogs and raccoons. People get the disease through the bites of infected fleas. Flea-borne typhus is not spread from person to person. The most common symptoms of flea-borne typhus are high fevers, severe headaches, body aches and a rash. The disease is rarely fatal, but people can become sick enough to be hospitalized. Public health officials will continue to monitor and test for evidence of flea-borne typhus in areas throught the City. Please see the following informational materials:
Dog Friendly Patio Dining
On July 24, 2012, the City Council approved a new policy allowing dogs on outdoor patios with dining service. This new policy will be implemented by the City's Health Department and provides restaurant owners with the flexibility to determine whether or not to allow dogs on their patios. If restaurant owners decide to allow dogs on their patios, then specific sanitation and hygienic practices will be required. A sign stating the patio is a "Dog-Friendly Patio" will be required for those restaurants allowing dogs on their patios. A window sticker is also being prepared by the Health Department and will be available soon for restaurants to use in place of the sign, if preferred. Any questions on this new policy can be directed to Jackie Hampton, Food Program Supervisor, at 562-570-4144.Please see the link below for additional information and details.
Click Here for More Information
Disease and disability can be avoided if children are adequately immunized. The City of Long Beach Health Department is promoting childhood immunization by participating in outreach campaigns to educate parents about the safety and importance of infant and toddler immunizations. Californa's Toddler Immunization Month in May is an annual opportunity to promote raising and maintaining high immunization levels in children ages 2 years and younger against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.
This year's theme is "Immunizations. On time. Every Time." The goal is to remind parents and caregivers that children need a complete series of vaccinations to be fully protected from debilitating and potentially deadly diseases. Infants who are not immunized, or whose immunizations are delayed, are vulnerable to serious diseases like measles, whooping cough, chicken pox, pneumonia and meningitis.
Parents of infants and toddlers who need vaccine, but do not have insurance, can call the Long Beach Health Department at (562) 570-4315 to get low-cost immunizations and referrals for programs to help with finding a local health care provider. For more information about the Health Department's Immunization Program, please click HERE.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Booster Shots
The City's Health Department is joining in the State of California Department of Public Health campaign to encourage parents to not wait until the last minute to get the pertussis vaccine for school age children. With pertussis at the highest rates since 1947, and in order to prevent transmission of this disease (and deaths) across the state, this vaccination (also known as Tdap) is a new law this year in California. The law requires all middle-high school students to have the Tdap booster. The Long Beach Department of Health has been working closely with Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) since late last year to advise parents of students in grades 7-12 of this new immunization requirement, and that it will be in effect when students return to school this fall. Parents have been receiving letters and weekly phone calls to remind them that they must present proof to the school that their child has received a pertussis (whooping cough) booster known as Tdap. LBUSD reported in early July that 68% of their students had already met the new requirement. Students who do not already have proof of a Tdap on file with the school should bring their immunization records when registering for classes and picking up schedules in August.
To remind parents of the new Tdap requirement the California Department of Health (CDPH) and the California Broadcasters Association have launched a media campaign which includes a new public service announcement (PSA) that can be viewed on http://www.shotsforschool.org/.
Whooping cough (pertussis) - a contagious disease spread by coughing or sneezing - has been declared an epidemic in California this year, with case numbers projected to be the highest in 50 years. The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services advises that families make sure that their young children get all of their DTaP (diphtheria/tetanus/acellular pertussis) vaccinations on time, and that older children and adults get a booster shot with Tdap, the adult formulation of the vaccine. It is especially important that household members and caregivers of young infants get a Tdap booster, since to date all of the deaths due to pertussis have occurred in infants less than 2 months of age, and studies show that babies are often infected by a caregiver or family member. Tdap is available through many local healthcare providers and at the Health Department. Appointments for vaccines at the Health Department may be made by calling 562-570-4315.
Food Handler Card Requirement
The State of California Food Handler Card Law (SB 602) will be effective on July 1, 2011. Food handlers involved in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a food facility must obtain a food handler card. Enforcement of the law will be limited to education and notification of the requirements until January 1, 2012 to allow for clarification of the law to be adopted.
For additional information and a list of classes, visit "California Food Handler Card Guidelines" and "Food Handler Card Mailer".