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Lab Assistant Erin Scott with the Kern County Public Health Services Department places valley fever patient samples into test tr

Accurate valley fever counts elude health officials

“Valley fever is almost certainly underreported, due to physicians and the public not being familiar with the disease,” said one infectious disease specialist. Reliable estimates of valley fever cases are still lacking.
Dust storms, like this one in Fresno, can help distribute the fungal spores that cause valley fever. (Photo: Craig Kohlruss/The

CDC technology advances promise better valley fever detection

New sensors in development at the CDC could provide a breakthrough in valley fever detection and prevention throughout the Southwestern United States.
Eleven-year-old Faith Herrod, recovering from valley fever, plays with Moses, Ninja and her other four pets when she has the ene

New valley fever skin test shows promise, but obstacles remain

A new skin test called Spherusol can detect whether a person has developed immunity to valley fever. But despite its promise, the test still isn’t in wide use.
Dust storms, like this one in Fresno, can help distribute the fungal spores that cause valley fever. (Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee)

FORECASTING AN EPIDEMIC: Does weather hold the key to predicting valley fever outbreaks?

As recently as August, Calif. health officials predicted the number of valley fever cases this year would go down. Now it’s shaping up to be one of the worst years on record.

Public pushes for new thinking in valley fever research

Advocates of valley fever research have complained that the disease does not affect enough people to garner attention and funding; local doctors often misdiagnosed it; most data about the disease dates back decades; and the public has little knowledge of the disease and its impact.

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About This Series

This project results from an innovative reporting venture – the Center for Health Journalism Collaborative – which currently involves the Bakersfield Californian, Radio Bilingüe in Fresno, Valley Public Radio in Fresno and Bakersfield, Vida en el Valle in Fresno, Hanford Sentinel, the Voice of OC in Santa Ana, the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, La Estrella de Tucsón and the Center for Health Journalism. The collaborative is an initiative of the Center for Health Journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.