Texas is worried about valley fever!!http://www.kens5.com/news/texas-news/I-Team-Valley-Fever-on-the-rise-in-Texas-1-out-of-10-San-Antonio-residents-may-have-it-231625161.html
Universities Team Up to Fight Valley Fever
Valley Fever Hospitalizations Doubled Over Past 12 Years, Study Says
In California, the number of hospitalizations for valley fever has doubled over the past 12 years, according to a study published by CDC on Wednesday, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Wozniacka, AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/11).
About Valley Fever
Researchers estimate that each year more than 150,000 people nationwide contract an airborne fungus known as valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis.
The cocci fungus is commonly found in soil in much of the Southwestern U.S., and is especially common in California's Central Valley.
People can contract valley fever by breathing in cocci fungal spores.
The fungus typically causes mild to severe influenza-like symptoms. However, the infection also can spread from the lungs to other parts of the body and cause symptoms such as skin abscesses, blindness and death.
Details of Outbreak in State Prisons
In early May, CDC began investigating the deaths of more than three dozen California inmates who had contracted the fungus at Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons in San Joaquin Valley.
In June, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ordered California to move 2,600 inmates at risk of contracting valley fever out of the two prisons (California Healthline, 7/15).
In July, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced that he would co-chair a 14-member Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, which was created to raise awareness about the fungus-based disease. The task force consists of lawmakers from California, Arizona and Texas, which all have seen outbreaks of the disease (California Healthline, 7/30).
Details of Study
The study released this week was conducted by the California Department of Public Health and published in the CDC's journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
According to the report, the number of reported valley fever cases in California increased from 700 in 1998 to more than 5,500 in 2011.
It found that annual hospitalizations related to the condition increased from 1,074 in 2000 to 3,197 in 2011. About 9% of individuals who were hospitalized for the condition were incarcerated, according to the report.
In addition, the report found that about one-third of those hospitalized had other health complications that increased their risk of contracting valley fever, such as pregnancy, diabetes or HIV/AIDS.
About 8% -- or 1,220 -- of those hospitalized died during initial or subsequent treatment in the facilities.
Researchers said the increase in valley fever hospitalizations could be the result of:
- Warming climate conditions;
- Changing rainfall patterns;
- Improved reporting methods; or
- Better diagnosis (AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/11).
Watch Hot, Dry Winds Help Spread Deadly Valley Fever Infections on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
This little girl wants you to fund a cure for Valley Fever!!!
From www.planetizen.com, Sept. 11, 2012
Is Valley Fever America's Next Great Public Health Challenge?
Posted by: Jonathan Nettler
Thanks to: Chris Steins
12 September 2012 - 1:00pm
William Heisel kicks of a series examining the infectious disease more common than AIDS, hepatitis, or Lyme disease. What environmental elements are contributing to its spread and what can planners and public health officials do to respond?
This past weekend, ReportingonHealth.org launched Just One Breath, an initiative of the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that is designed to investigate and publicize the infectious disease called "Valley Fever."
Heisel, project manager for the team of reporters, editors, photographers, and graphic artists working on the initiative, puts the rising prevalence of Valley Fever in the context of other, highly publicized diseases such as Whooping Cough and West Nile virus.
"On Saturday," says Heisel, "the team started the series by detailing the rise in cases. They followed up with a story on Sunday that examined whether climate change is expanding the disease’s reach."
"In the coming weeks, the team will explore the long history of inaction by government agencies, the tricky science of studying the disease, the high costs to patients and taxpayers, and the lack of interest in funding treatments and vaccines."
Full Story: Just One Breath: Valley Fever Harms More People Every Day than the Diseases that Make Headlines
Source: Reporting on Health, September 11, 2012
Dr. Hans Einstein, Valley Fever pioneer, dies
It's a sad day for Arizona, California and any hotbed of valley fever now that Dr. Einstein has passed away. A fighter for a cure and/or vaccine to fight this dreaded disease, Einstein made his home in Bakersfield, Calif., where he saw first hand the negative effects of valley fever. His life was dedicated to helping people, and with his gentle personality and generous ways, he made a lot of friends. The world will now be a little poorer for the loss of this distinguished gentleman. The best way to honor him is to continue our cause and research treatments and cures for valley fever.
Here's a class you'll want to take!!
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