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Kern County

Picture of Kerry Klein
The shortage of doctors in California’s San Joaquin Valley has long impacted Central Californians in a very real way. Will efforts to combat the shortage make a difference?
Picture of Harold Pierce
An invisible disease has been killing middle-aged white people in the San Joaquin Valley at higher rates than ever before. One doctor calls them "deaths of despair."
Picture of Harold Pierce
A Phoenix-based laboratory is capturing detailed images of the fungus that causes valley fever, hoping to better understand how it works.
Picture of Harold Pierce
Valley fever is a fungal respiratory infection that is a constant health threat in vast stretches of the San Joaquin valley. 
Picture of Kerry Klein
Richard Nuwintore's sentence in the California prison system has ended, but the valley fever infection he picked up while doing time is a life sentence. The state is now working to lower the risk for inmates.
Picture of Harold Pierce
“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.
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Valley Public Radio in California's Central Valley reports on what law enforcement agencies in the valley say they are doing to help police officers cope with the mental strain of a violent line of work.
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A recent report found big differences in how counties are handling California’s estimated 3 million uninsured. Some county safety net programs are serving very few residents, raising questions of whether such counties are adequately adapting to meet the needs of the remaining uninsured.

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California’s tally of valley fever cases dropped by more than 1,000 last year and some counties have also seen fewer cases in the early months of 2013. But public health officials say it’s too early to identify long-term trends in the numbers.

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The Just One Breath investigative series on valley fever prompts a California state senator to hold hearings on the rise in cases in the state's agricultural Central Valley.

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