just one breath

Accurate Valley Fever Counts Elude Health Officials

Nov 28, 2016
Casey Christie / The Bakersfield Californian

Estimates of the number of valley fever cases recorded by local, state and federal agencies vary so widely that they call into question the accuracy of the figures released to the public, a Center for Health Journalism Collaborative investigation has found. The finding comes during a critical year for valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis. In Kern County, California, public health officials declared an epidemic in October, predicting more than 2,000 cases in that county alone by year’s end. But...

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

This year, you’re likely to hear a lot of predictions about how the drought will impact our health, environment, and food. But one thing you won’t hear is whether the dry conditions will – without a doubt - increase the risk of valley fever in California. Sure, it makes sense. Even microbiologist Antje Lauer expects that drought conditions, and drier soil, would increase the risk of valley fever. “If we want to have less of the valley fever fungus in the soil, you would pray for more rain,”...

Henry Barrios / The Bakersfield Californian

The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will undertake a clinical trial to learn more about valley fever, agency leaders announced Monday at the start of a two-day symposium on valley fever, hosted by Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy. "There are so many things we don't know about valley fever, and the best way to get the answers is to run a clinical trial," said National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins. Collins said about 1...

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

All inmates at risk of developing a serious form of valley fever must be removed from two Central California state prisons within the next 90 days. That’s what a U.S. District Court judge ruled Monday, upholding a directive from the federal official in charge of prison health care. The ruling comes over the objections of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which balked at the complexity of the policy. Valley Public Radio’s Rebecca Plevin takes us behind the prison gates to...

On Monday afternoon, the federal receiver in charge of health care in California’s prisons ordered the state prison to remove inmates from two Central Valley prisons who are especially at risk of contracting valley fever. A day later, the state and experts are digesting that directive. Valley Public Radio's Rebecca Plevin reports, as part of the Reporting on Health Collaborative’s investigation into the disease. ---- The day after a federal receiver ordered two state prisons to exclude...

Casey Christie / The Californian / Reporting on Health Collaborative

The federal receiver in charge of health care in California’s prisons is ordering the state to remove inmates from two Central Valley prisons who are especially at risk of contracting the fungal disease known as valley fever. The move affects about 40 percent of the inmate population at Avenal and Pleasant Valley State Prisons. Those affected include African Americans, Filipinos, inmates who are HIV positive, have compromised immune systems, or are pregnant or elderly. Joyce Hayhoe is with...

Shelby Mack / The Bakersfield Californian

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will visit the San Joaquin Valley later this year to train public health professionals and the public in recognizing and defending against valley fever, Congressman Kevin McCarthy said Monday after an in-depth meeting with the agency and its director. “I got a commitment, where they will come to Bakersfield, where we will put on a valley fever awareness and symposium, where we’ll bring the doctors in, the community, all that have already...