Epidemiology & Assessment

The Epidemiology and Assessment unit’s medical directors, public health nurses, and epidemiologists investigate individual cases and outbreaks of reported communicable disease (see List of Reportable Diseases) per the State of California Code of Regulations. We monitor disease trends, and often provide current statistics and other information to doctors, hospitals, the public and news media. For more information or CD reporting 24/7 call 714-834-8180.

For questions or comments, please email epi@ochca.com.

Latest News & Health Advisories

Update for Medical Providers: Apparent Mycobacterium abscessus Infections Associated with a Local Dental Clinic

February 1, 2017
Mycobacterium abscessus dental infections have been reported in patients who have undergone pulpotomy procedures at the 2156 East Lincoln Avenue office of Children's Dental Group in Anaheim.

The facility’s internal water system appears to have been the source of mycobacteria based on the Orange County Health Care Agency’s facility assessment and laboratory testing. The facility discontinued performing pulpotomy procedures from September 6-November 7, 2016 in order to replace their water system and install appropriate infection control safeguards. On December 15, 2016, after the facility had restarted performing pulpotomies, OCHCA’s Public Health Laboratory identified Mycobacterium mucogenicum growing from multiple clinical water samples obtained as part of follow up testing at the facility. Though M. mucogenicum is not known to pose the same risk to dental patients as M. abscessus, the identification of any mycobacterium (even at low levels) was of sufficient concern that the County Health Officer issued a second order requiring closure of the clinic pending further investigation of the situation.

Infectious Syphilis Cases More than Quadruple in OC in Last 5 yearsJanuary 12, 2017
Infectious Syphilis Cases More than Quadruple in OC in Last 5 years;
other STDs increase as well

Measles Cases Identified in Los Angeles CountyDecember 23, 2016
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating nine confirmed measles cases within the County. Contact investigations are ongoing.
No suspect or confirmed measles cases have been identified thus far in Orange County. But providers should consider the diagnosis of measles in patients with an appropriate clinical presentation.

Pediatric E. coli O157:H7 Infections in Santa AnaNovember 21, 2016
The Orange County Health Care Agency has had an increase in reports of pediatric Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 infection since the start of November. Four cases have been reported with illness onsets ranging from November 4-9. The cases range from 5-8 years in age; all live in the city of Santa Ana. One child developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). An investigation into a potential source is ongoing. Providers should consider E. coli O157:H7 infection in patients with bloody or unusually severe diarrhea and when appropriate send stool for testing for shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).

Recall of Frozen Strawberries Potentially Contaminated with Hepatitis A Distributed Nationally, Including in Orange CountyNovember 2, 2016
A large recall of frozen strawberries from Egypt has been issued due to the potential for hepatitis A contamination. This voluntary recall was issued as part of an ongoing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation of a multi-state hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries mainly on the East Coast.