• 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 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 Elizabeth Mulikin
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Before my sister Edie passed away from valley fever at age 61, she made me learn to pronounce and spell coccidioidomycosis, the medical name for valley fever. She also made me promise to tell anyone who would listen about how horrible this disease can be.

  • 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 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 WILLIAM HEISEL The Reporting on Health Collaborative
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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.

  • By REPORTING ON HEALTH COLLABORATIVE
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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 …

  • By REPORTING ON HEALTH COLLABORATIVE
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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 …

  • BY YESENIA AMARO AND TRACY WOOD Reporting on Health Collaborative
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Thousands of California and Arizona adults and children annually contract valley fever and find themselves battling the disease for months or years — missing work and school, spending weeks in the hospital — with frequent recurrences.

  • BY RACHEL COOK AND REBECCA PLEVIN Reporting on Health Collaborative
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More people are dying from valley fever than previously thought, and illnesses including diabetes, lung disease, arthritis and certain cancers may increase a person's chances of dying from the disease, according to a new study.

  • BY REBECCA PLEVIN AND RACHEL COOK Reporting on Health Collaborative
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San Joaquin Valley residents, doctors and experts demanding improvements in the way valley fever is studied, diagnosed and treated shared their concerns during a town hall meeting hosted by state Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, in Bakersfield on Friday.

  • By The Bakersfield Californian
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State Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, will host a town hall meeting on battling valley fever from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at the Kern County Public Health Services Department building at 1800 Mount Vernon Ave. in Bakersfield.