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Public Health - Frequently Asked Questions


Please help me understand what shots my child needs and direct me to a place where I can get the shots.
If you click on the immunization schedule you can determine what shots your child needs. You can also phone a health department nurse at 454-4339. Remember to always bring the "yellow card" to all your child's appointments with the doctor.

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I lost the "yellow card" that has my child's immunization records. Where can I get it replaced because without it I cannot enroll my child in school or at a child-care center.
It is best to contact the doctor's office where your child received the shots. If your child has already been enrolled in a child-care or a school, you can also obtain the record from them.

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I've been bitten by an animal. Do I need to worry about rabies?
Based on where you live, you can call the local Animal Control agency. 

  • Within the city limits of Capitola, call 475-3800. 
  • Within the city limits of Watsonville, call 728-6078
  • All others, call 454-7303

You will probably be advised to see a physician for treatment of the wound, and your doctor can have important input about the advisability of rabies treatment.

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I've been told I have a positive skin test for tuberculosis (TB). What does this mean?
A positive skin test means that the germ that causes TB has caused an infection in your body. About 25,000 of the 250,000 people in Santa Cruz County have a positive skin test. You will need to get another test, a chest X-ray, to see if you are one of the 20 people out the 25,000 whose infection is advanced and who has TB disease. Only the few who have TB disease are contagious to others, and with treatment they can be cured and not spread the disease.

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Where can I go to be checked for Hepatitis C? What happens if I test positive for Hepatitis C?
A test for Hepatitis C involves taking a sample of blood, and must be done by order of a doctor. You will need to get your doctor to test you. Those who test positive for Hepatitis C will receive a letter from the health department with additional information. To receive this letter, please call 454-4114 and ask to speak with a member of the Disease Control Unit.

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I think I may have a sexually transmitted disease. How do I find out if I do?
You can see your doctor or go to a community or public clinic that will perform tests and provide treatment and counseling. The costs for the care could be covered by a program called Family PACT for those with low incomes or no other way to pay for diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is often made by testing a urine sample, so it is easier than ever for you to get checked and treated. The health department clinics are in Santa Cruz at 454-4100 and Watsonville at 763-8400.

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Where and how can I be tested for TB? 

  • TB tests are done at both our General Health Clinics, in Santa Cruz at 1080 Emeline Ave (Bldg D), and in Watsonville at 9 Crestview Dr. 
  • TB tests are done on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and most Fridays between 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. 
  • Test are not done on Thursday, and please note that on some Fridays the County Clinics are closed due to Furlough. Please call to confirm.
  • Patients need to return to the clinic 48 hours after the TB test to have the test read. 

    For more information, please call Santa Cruz Health Clinic (831) 454-4100 or Watsonville Health Clinic (831) 763-8400

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How do I get my travel immunization?
Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency does not provide travel immunizations, ask your medical provider for more information.

Information about Travel Immunizations

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What should I do if I find a dead bird?
Public Health is continuing to monitor bird deaths as part of its West Nile virus detection program. Dead birds such as blue jays, crows, ravens and other small wild birds found in Santa Cruz County should be reported to the California Department of Health Services at 1-877-WNV-Bird (1-877-968-2473).or by using the web based report form at http://westnile.ca.gov/bird_report_id.htm

You may dispose of the dead bird by double bagging in plastic bags and discarding in your household garbage. Use gloves or a shovel to avoid touching the bird or any other dead animal with your bare hands.