Kicking off Valley Fever Awareness Month in Kern County, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., launched the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force website Tuesday.

The site serves as the online home for the bipartisan task force, which was founded in 2013 to reduce misdiagnosis, increase awareness and find a viable cure to valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis, a fungal disease that infects more than 150,000 people annually in the United States.

“Public awareness is key to eradicating valley fever. Since being established in 2013, the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force has worked to provide information to the public, stakeholders in the medical and scientific fields, and community organizations to raise awareness, increase and coordinate federal research efforts, and advance treatments and cures for this disease,” McCarthy said in a statement.

He called the website “a critical resource” to raise awareness while highlighting the work of the task force.

The site offers a list of frequently asked questions about valley fever, helping to dispel myths about the disease that is prevalent throughout the southwestern United States, and infects more people in Kern County than anywhere else in the state.

The website address is

Harold Pierce covers education and health for The Californian. He can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter @RoldyPierce