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Valley fever

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Whether the subject is a money-squandering government agency or a looming public health threat or a failing school system, reporters want to be able to say something changed as a result of their reporting. Momentum might get going after a story, but continuing it is another matter.

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Legislators are poised to take action on valley fever, a long-ignored disease that is the subject of a Reporting on Health Collaborative project.

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Journalists have a knack for pointing out problems. They rarely explain how to fix these problems. The message to readers is: the world is a mess. You figure out how to make it better. There is a growing movement among reporters to remedy this.

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Just what is valley fever? The Center for Health Journalism Digital collaborative sheds light on how the public and medical community lack awareness of this often misdiagnosed disease that has been plagued by a long history of inaction by government agencies.

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Coming out of the dark will require coordination and significant sums of money. The Reporting on Health Collaborative asked patients, physicians, researchers and government officials to identify steps that could be taken now to change the course of the disease.

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Current treatments for valley fever can take so long to work that they allow the disease to spread, becoming more damaging and more deadly. What can be done?

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Journalist Rebecca Plevin faced many challenges reporting on the high rates – and costs – of valley fever in California prisons. Here's what you can learn from her work.

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As valley fever rates skyrocket in some Calif. prisons, experts and inmates alike question whether it’s fair to doubly punish people — once for a crime, and again with a severe disease.

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Zoo animals, pets and animals in the wild contract valley fever the same way people do, by inhaling spores from a fungus.

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Announcements

Get the latest updates from top experts and a leading journalist tracking the story, as well as crucial context and insights for reporting responsibly on this fast-moving public health threat in our next webinar on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Sign-up here!

Got a great idea for a reporting project on vulnerable families or health disparities?  We'll help fund it, and provide you with five days of all-expenses-paid training at USC in July, plus six months of mentoring. Click here for more information.

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