Two new laws have been passed that will help the state collect more accurate data about valley fever.
Assembly Bill 1787, jointly authored by Assemblymen Rudy Salas and Vince Fong, would require the state to include any valley fever cases that are reported after the normal reported deadline each year to be included in case data for the following year and attribute a case to the year of diagnosis in future data reporting.
The second bill, AB 1788, makes changes to allow positive lab test data to serve as a confirmation of valley fever cases. This bill was authored by Salas.
The goal of the bills is to make sure the state’s Department of Public Health has a more accurate representation of how many valley fever cases there are in the state.
"This is a big win for thousands of valley fever patients and families affected by this disease," Salas said. "These bills will help to ensure that our state has the most accurate valley fever data available so that health officials can respond to the growing number of cases in our state."
Fong said he's proud of the work they have done regarding valley fever this year.
“Getting AB 1787 signed into law has been a true local-state partnership that is so critical in our ongoing battle to provide the treatment and education necessary to help as many families that are suffering as result of this devastating disease,” he said.
The Kern County Public Health Services department and the Valley Fever Americas Foundation brought the issue of a lack of consistency in reporting to the attention of Fong and Salas, according to Fong’s office.
“AB 1787 is a tremendous help in our collective effort to combat valley fever, especially here in Kern County, where we are leading the way for the rest of the state,” said KCPH Director Matt Constantine. “This was a critical partnership with the state and we hope to continue to provide the treatment and assistance to those who are suffering from valley fever as best as we can.”