Public Health Advisories & Notices
Recent advisories and notices from public health agencies and/or other organizations to help promote awareness among all health care providers.
Register for CPDH Webinar on 10/16 to Learn About VFC Enrollment and Get Drug at No Cost
The California Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program will soon make available federally purchased nirsevimab (Beyfortus™) at no cost to enrolled sites, including birth or neonatal care hospitals.
California hospitals that serve infants eligible for VFC vaccines, including who are uninsured or covered by Medi-Cal, are encouraged to enroll in the VFC Program. Participating in the VFP Program can help hospitals save substantial costs – including for nirsevimab, which has a list price of $495 per infant dose.
Don't miss out: Register for webinar on 10/16!
To learn more about enrolling in the VFC Program and get updates on nirsevimab, birthing and pediatric hospitals are encouraged to join the California Department of Public Heath (CDPH) this coming Monday, October 16, 2023, from
12 - 1 p.m.
How nirsevimab can help infants
Nirsevimab is a long-acting monoclonal antibody that prevents severe disease from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants, which has caused up to 80,000 hospitalizations and 300 deaths per year. It has shown to be highly effective in preventing hospitalization for RSV in clinical trials.
For more information, refer to CDPH’s letter from October 6, 2023.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a notice that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has updated guidance on screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in adults. Tuberculosis (TB) incidence in California continues to be higher than in the rest of the country, causing pain and death even though it is preventable. Therefore, USPSTF recommends screening for LTBI in asymptomatic adults ages 18 and older to stop new cases of active TB.
Who to test for LTBI
USPSTF recommends testing for TB infection in:
- Asymptomatic adults with risk factors. This includes births or those who live in countries with high TB rates.
- Persons who have lived in high-risk congregate settings.
- Close contact or immunosuppressed persons should also be tested for TB infection by public health programs or by clinical standards of care.
What tests are effective
Instead of using the TB skin test, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the interferon release assays (IGRA) should be given to test adults. The IGRA offers increased specificity, single blood draw and requires no return visit to read the test.
LTBI treatments available
There is no effective vaccine against LTBI. The Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine doesn't offer lifetime protection. The best tool to date is diagnosing and treating LTBI. The USPSTF evidence summary suggest:
- Treating LTBI with 3–4 month rifamycin-based therapies instead of isoniazid monotherapy.
- Isoniazid monotherapy is associated with poor completion rates and higher rates of liver damage.
Please contact CDPH TB Control Branch at TBCB@cdph.ca.gov with any questions.
Resources with additional information
- CDC LTBI Treatment Guidance – Provides several treatment regimens recommended for LTBI.
- Recommendations from the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association and CDC
- CDC Guidelines for Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Adults and Children (PDF) – Official American Thoracic Society/Infectious Diseases Society of America/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clinical Practice Guidelines: Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Adults and Children. This is a clinical abstract with an executive summary for providers.
- California TB Adult Risk Assessment (PDF) and California TB Pediatric Risk Assessment (PDF) – Provides a risk assessment form and users guide.
- Prevent Tuberculosis in 4 Steps: A Guide for Medical Providers (PDF) – A clinical algorithm for medical providers on how to test and treat patients for LTBI, produced by the California Department of Public Health.
- How to Talk to Patients about LTBI - Adult (PDF) and How to Talk to Patients about LTBI - Pediatric (PDF) – A clinical tool on how to counsel patients about LTBI testing and treatment, produced by the California Department of Public Health.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a news release on August 1, 2023, about the possible increased risk for Valley fever in California. CDPH has designated August as Valley Fever Awareness Month due to higher rates of infection that occur during the summer and fall months.
California locations with highest rates of infection
The highest rates of Valley fever are found in Central Valley and Central Coast regions. This includes Kern, Kings, San Luis Obispo, Fresno, Tulare, Madera and Monterey counties. Increased rates of the fever have recently occurred in other regions, such as Northern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.
Prolonged respiratory symptoms
Valley fever affects the lungs. Symptoms can last a month or more and include:
- Chest pain
- Fatigue or tiredness
Laboratory tests are needed to determine whether a patient has contracted Valley fever instead of another respiratory disease (including COVID-19). If Valley fever is diagnosed, determine if treatment is needed.