• BY HAROLD PIERCE The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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Advocates for valley fever research give Bakersfield Assemblyman Rudy Salas an “A” for effort for what they call the most robust legislative effort to address the disease in California history. But public health officials and disease experts are split on whether the remedies proposed by Sala…

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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Apparently undaunted by Gov. Jerry Brown's October veto of legislation that would've brought new disease reporting guidelines and funding to the little-known respiratory disease known as valley fever, Assemblyman Rudy Salas has introduced an even more robust legislative package aimed at tack…

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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Six construction outfits working on a solar project in Monterey County were fined more than $240,000 this week for failing to protect their workers from valley fever, an insidious respiratory disease caused by a fungus that grows in the soil throughout the Southwestern United States.

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE hpierce@bakersfield.com
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State public health officials suspect cases of valley fever, the insidious respiratory disease endemic to Kern County, have increased so far this year by at least 34 percent statewide — which could make it the worst year for valley fever in the disease’s recorded history, according to new da…

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE hpierce@bakersfield.com
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Kern County Public Health has seen a 22 percent increase so far this year in the number of serological lab tests performed for valley fever, an indication that cases could top last year’s figures, which were the worst recorded since the 2011 epidemic.

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE & STEPHANIE INNES The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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The California legislature approved a bill Wednesday that would require the state public health department to develop public outreach programs for valley fever, an insidious respiratory disease endemic to Kern County, if signed by the governor.

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE hpierce@bakersfield.com
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A federal agency granted $4.8 million to continue developing a vaccine that has shown promising results in preventing valley fever among dogs and could lead to a breakthrough for humans, Dr. John Galgiani, one of the nation’s leading valley fever researchers, said during a rare visit to Bake…

  • BY KERRY KLEIN Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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Richard Nuwintore was barely three weeks into his sentence at Taft Correctional Institution when he began to cough and experience chest pain. Within a few days, it was obvious something was wrong.

  • BY TRACY WOOD The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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For seven years, Dr. George Thompson at the University of California, Davis, collected DNA samples from patients for research into valley fever.

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE AND STEPHANIE INNES The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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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.

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The peak season for valley fever has always been the fall months before a significant rain fall. As a retired microbiologist from the Kern County Health Department, and having done significant testing for valley fever, I can tell you September and October can see 200 to 400 cases a week.

  • BY KERRY KLEIN The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
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Faith Herrod wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. The 11-year-old lives in Lemoore with her family, three dogs and three cats. Someday, she’ll get a rabbit, too — as soon as her mother lets her.

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE hpierce@bakersfield.com
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Against the backdrop of an epidemic in Kern County, The Valley Fever for Americas Foundation is hosting a fundraiser Wednesday to drum up funding for a cure to the debilitating respiratory disease endemic to the region.

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE hpierce@bakersfield.com
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When a punishing drought besieged California in the late 1980s, relief came with 30 days of rain in 1991 — dubbed the March Miracle because of how it revived the state’s agricultural economy.

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE hpierce@bakersfield.com
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On the eve of what could be the worst year for valley fever cases since the so-called Great Epidemic of the early 1990s, national health care leaders announced Thursday the start of a clinical trial to gain more insight into the effectiveness of early treatment.

  • By STEVEN MAYER smayer@bakersfield.com
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He was probably best known for his pioneering efforts to develop a vaccine or a cure for the disease known as valley fever. But to family and friends, longtime Bakersfield physician Tom Larwood was something of a Renaissance man who was interested in and fascinated by almost everything. Espe…

  • BY HAROLD PIERCE hpierce@bakersfield.com
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Quon Louey had lived in Bakersfield for more than a decade when he came down with what he thought was a common cold. He broke into cold sweats and suffered from vertigo and exhaustion. When he lay down, his room would spin. Store-bought medicine didn't help.

  • By Sharon Borradori
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Coccidioidomycosis (valley fever) is a difficult disease to diagnose, and is often misdiagnosed. Surveys in Arizona have shown that people who know about valley fever get correctly diagnosed faster than those who don’t. This makes earlier medical intervention possible, and patients can hope …

  • By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
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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.

  • By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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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 …

  • BY DON THOMPSON Associated Press
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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.

  • BY REBECCA PLEVIN Reporting on Health Collaborative
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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 fu…

  • BY RACHEL COOK Californian staff writer rcook@bakersfield.com
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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.

  • BY REBECCA PLEVIN Reporting on Health Collaborative
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When experts and policymakers from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention land in Bakersfield next week, they will be met by many smart, well-meaning individuals hoping for better treatments for valley fever and, ultimately, for a cure.

  • By The Bakersfield Californian
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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.

  • BY RACHEL COOK Californian staff writer rcook@bakersfield.com
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Rep. Kevin McCarthy made another move in his crusade against valley fever Wednesday, announcing the new "Congressional Valley Fever Task Force."