Hepatitis, Heat Wave, Hellfire: California’s Public Health Triple Threat

SPECIAL 3 PART COVERAGE: Scores Dead as CA Battles Treble Crises | IMAGES 

(HEADLINE HEALTH) The nation’s most populous state is in a state of emergency, besieged by three simultaneous and deadly public health crises.

A scorching heatwave, rampant hepatitis, and a new round of wildfires make the Golden State a very dangerous place to be. SPECIAL COVERAGE CONTINUES BELOW.

PART I – California Woman Rescues Horses, Yaks And Cows From Deadly Wildfires

(Sharon Bernstein, Reuters) The acrid smell of smoke borne on hurricane-strength winds greeted horse trainer Rebecca Cushman before dawn, her phone ringing repeatedly as people frantically sought help saving their animals from California’s deadly wildfires.

It was still dark on Monday morning when Cushman, 41, set out from her farm west of the conflagration, towing a four-horse trailer behind her white Dodge pickup truck.

She worked all day and into the night, loading four horses at a time from fire-ravaged farms and ranches in Sonoma and Napa counties, taking the animals back to her farm in West Petaluma before going out for more.

By Thursday, she had helped rescue 48 horses, several cows and even some yaks in the bucolic vineyard and farm country north of San Francisco hit by the state’s deadliest wildfires in nearly a century.

“We have dogs, goats, guinea fowl, chickens, ducks, donkeys, miniature horses and horses at our farm right now,” Cushman said on Thursday. “I just finished helping load yaks and cows.”

Firefighters began to gain ground on Thursday against blazes that have killed at least 31 people [death toll recently updated to 42] in Northern California and left hundreds missing amid mass evacuations in the heart of the state’s wine country. READ THE FULL STORY FROM REUTERS. Previously:  Hepatitis + Wildfire = Public Health Doomsday in California

PART II – California’s Homeless Spread Hepatitis A

(QUARTZ MEDIA) Last Friday, Oct. 13, governor Jerry Brown of California declared a state of emergency after hepatitis A cases in San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles counties hit record highs.

In the past 11 months, 569 people have been infected and 17 have died of the virus in southern California.

The US Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2015, there were a total (pdf) of 1,390 country-wide.

This is now the second-largest outbreak in the US in the last 20 years. (The largest was over 10 years ago in Pennsylvania due to contaminated onions.)

Hepatitis A is a virus that damages the liver and causes it to swell.

Many of the initial symptoms look like a stomach flu, but hep A can also cause the skin and the whites of your eyes to turn yellow, because the liver stops being able to filter out toxins in the blood.

It spreads easily between people—especially through shared needles—or through contaminated food or drinking water.

It’s an unpleasant virus whose symptoms usually last up to two months, but is only fatal about 1% of the time. READ THE FULL STORY AT QZ.COM. Previously: Deadly Hepatitis-A Spreads California-Wide

PART III – October’s Triple-Digit Heat — When Will It Cool Down?

(LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS) It’s almost November, but the Southland received a thorough baking Monday as a heat wave sent temperatures soaring to record levels and put fire crews on high alert thanks to elevated wildfire conditions.

Downtown Los Angeles reached a record high for this date of 102 degrees, breaking the mark of 98 set in 1965. Los Angeles International Airport hit 101 degrees, Burbank Airport reached 102 degrees and Long Beach Airport reached 105 — all breaking records set in 1965.

The temperature reached 100 degrees at UCLA, breaking the record of 98 — set in 1939. Palmdale Airport hit 92 degrees, tying the record set in 1959, while Sandberg tied the record of 84 degrees set in 1959.

The heat, coupled with low humidity and gusting Santa Ana winds, led to the imposition of a red flag warning, signifying a heightened risk of wildfires. The warning is expected to remain in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday in much of the Southland, with the exception of the Antelope Valley.

“This event is especially concerning because of the multiple-day nature of it, which we have not seen yet this season, and such events have a history of large fires,” according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said winds are expected to peak on Tuesday, with winds of 20 to 30 mph gusting to 50 in wind-prone coastal and valley areas. Meanwhile, humidity will hover around 5 to 10 percent. READ THE FULL STORY AT DAILYNEWS.COM. Previously: California Wildfires Harming People Far Beyond Flames’ Reach

IMAGES: Horse, Youtube; Structure fire, Pixabay; homeless alley, haymarketrebel, CC; Temperature map, National Weather Service

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