Just One Breath

  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, left, talks with David Larwood, center, at the starting line of the annual Valley Fever Walk.

    FDA action may speed up valley fever drug development

    A promising anti-valley fever drug could move into clinical trials more quickly after federal officials declared it a "qualifying infectious disease product," officials announced Friday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the designation to nikkomycin Z (NikZ) under the 2012

  • This undated photo released by the Avenal State Prison public information office shows an aerial view of Avenal State Prison in Avenal, Calif. Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus, valley fever, before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons, Avenal and Pleasant Valley, where the disease has killed nearly three dozen inmates, according to a report obtained Friday, July 25, 2014, by The Associated Press.

    Study recommends inmate immunity test for valley fever fungus

    SACRAMENTO -- Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three dozen inmates, according to a report obtained Friday by The

  • Inhaling the spores of the fungus that causes valley fever can cause lung and other problems, and even lead to death.

    Study: Valley fever killed 3 prison workers

    SACRAMENTO -- Valley fever killed three employees at two California prisons in recent years and sickened 103 others, according to a federal health care agency report made public Thursday. Employees at Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons near Fresno appear more likely to contract the Illness

  • Inhaling the spores of the fungus that causes valley fever can cause lung and other problems, and even lead to death.

    Universities seek public input during 'Valley Fever Research Day'

    Community members are invited to attend Valley Fever Research Day Saturday at the UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research. The event is an opportunity for researchers from UCSF Fresno, UC Merced and Fresno State to connect with community members who have been impacted by the fungal

  • Dr. Thomas Frieden, center, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, answers questions from valley fever patients during a community forum Monday at the Valley Fever Symposium held in Bakersfield at the Kern County Department of Public Health. At left is Dr. Royce Johnson, professor of medicine at UCLA and Kern Medical Center's chief of infectious disease and on the right is Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

    Valley fever clinical trial announced at symposium

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health will launch a randomized controlled trial to get a better understanding of how to treat valley fever, officials announced in Bakersfield Monday. The endeavour, announced on Day 1 of a two-day valley fever

  • For Shane Hoover, treatment at Kern Medical Center for valley fever can take up a good portion of the day. Not too long ago he thought he was dying from valley fever. His treatment has helped him gain weight and strength.

    Bakersfield to host top public health officials at valley fever symposium

    In his mid-20s, Shane Hoover started planning for his death. Hoover was diagnosed with valley fever, which is caused by inhaling fungal spores that grow in the soil, in 2010. He took medications for a while that kept it at bay. But he says he could not afford to keep paying for the drugs and,

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    Congressmen plea for FDA action on valley fever

    Kern County's two congressman and other House members have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to place valley fever on its list of "qualifying pathogens" to improve the chances of it being studied and better treated. The FDA is developing the list as required by the

  • Inhaling the spores of the fungus that causes valley fever can cause lung and other problems, and even lead to death.

    Congressional task force to aid valley fever fight

    Rep. Kevin McCarthy made another move in his crusade against valley fever Wednesday, announcing the new "Congressional Valley Fever Task Force." The panel is comprised of 11 Republicans and three Democrats from California, Arizona and Texas. McCarthy said the group grew out of meetings

  • Kern County Public Health published a new website all about valley fever -  http://kerncountyvalleyfever.com/.

    Kern County unveils new valley fever website

    In August 1901, a 19-year-old cannery worker was the first to be diagnosed with valley fever in Kern County. Nearly 112 years later, Kern County Public Health workers unveiled a sleek new website dedicated to all aspects of the disease. In a presentation to the Kern County Board of Supervisors

  • MICHAEL FITZGERALD: Water project digs up valley fever concerns

    Would construction of peripheral tunnels spread valley fever? Two reasons to ask: 1. There is no cure for valley fever, which is caused by spores released from soil. 2. Stockton is directly downwind of the peripheral tunnel construction zone. You may not know much about valley fever. Science

  • At Mill Creek Park, Jim and Kim Egan tried to protect themselves from inhaling dust during the wind storm that ripped through Bakersfield May 5. Jim said he was worried about contracting valley fever.

    Reported valley fever cases fell in California, Arizona last year

    California's tally of valley fever cases dropped by more than 1,000 last year and some counties have also seen fewer cases in the early months of 2013. But public health officials say it's too early to identify long-term trends in the numbers. "The number of reported cases in 2012

  • Congressman Kevin McCarthy talks about his work in the House of Representatives in his offices in Bakersfield in this file photo.

    McCarthy: CDC to hold valley fever symposium

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will visit the San Joaquin Valley later this year to train health professionals and the public in recognizing and defending against valley fever, Rep. Kevin McCarthy said Monday after an in-depth meeting with the agency. McCarthy, R-Bakersfield,

  • Jerry Walker contracted valley fever in 1991 and still has diminished lung capacity. It’s similar to someone who has use of half of a lung, he said.

    JUST ONE BREATH: More readers tell of their battles with valley fever

    During the five months that The Reporting on Health Collaborative has been publishing stories about the scourge of valley fever, many readers have come forward wanting to tell of their horrific battles with the illness. Today we share more of them in a continuing effort to educate the community

  • Edna Wayne had valley fever when she was 8 years old and still feels it at age 80.

    JUST ONE BREATH: More stories from community members on valley fever

    The Reporting on Health Collaborative asked readers to share their experiences with valley fever. Here are their stories, in their own words, as told to the Collaborative's Community Engagement Editor, Kellie Schmitt. Their accounts capture the pain and anguish suffered by local families as

  • Shelia Lake has suffered from valley fever.

    JUST ONE BREATH: Community members share their valley fever stories

    The Reporting on Health Collaborative asked readers to share their experiences with valley fever. Here are their stories, in their own words, as told to the Collaborative's Community Engagement Editor, Kellie Schmitt. Their accounts capture the pain and anguish suffered by local families as