Skip to main content.

Health agencies fall behind on tracking valley fever

The Latest Chapter: Promise and Frustration

Fellowship Story Showcase

Health agencies fall behind on tracking valley fever

Valley fever is a fungal respiratory infection that is a constant health threat in vast stretches of the San Joaquin valley. 

Photo Credit via Flickr
The California Report
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valley fever is a fungal respiratory infection that is a constant health threat in vast stretches of the San Joaquin valley. While numbers are still being tallied, it looks like 2016 was a bad year for valley fever, with thousands of new infections recorded in Kern County alone. We spoke with a reporter working in the heart of the epidemic, Harold Pierce of the Bakersfield Californian. 

[This story was originally published by The California Report.]

[Photo credit via Flickr.]

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.

RELATED STORIES

A Fever in the Dust

Although still unknown outside of the American west, valley fever is a severe fungal infection — and its territory may expand as the climate warms.

In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown Allocated $8 million to Cocci Research And Awareness. How Has It Been Spent?

In his final 2018-2019 budget former California Gov. Jerry Brown allocated $8 million in state funding toward combating valley fever, split evenly between the University of California system and the new Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical in Bakersfield. Here’s how that money’s been spent.

Following Funding Boosts, Momentum Builds Around Valley Fever Research

Researchers have been trying to understand valley fever for decades, but the playing field remained small until recently.

‘Eureka moment’ in valley fever case paves way for new research, treatment options

UCLA's Dr. Manish Butte still remembers the day almost two years ago when he met a young boy who could barely walk or talk and needed a feeding tube to eat. He was suffering from a life-threatening case of valley fever.

Valley fever medication poses added risk for pregnant women

Research suggests an alarming link between a common drug used for valley fever and birth defects. The disease also tends to be more severe in pregnant women.

Legislation caps momentous year in battle against valley fever

Recently signed legislation capped a big year for efforts to combat a regional disease long overlooked by lawmakers.

For valley fever survivors, a growing need: wigs

The antifungal drugs used to treat valley fever can cause hair loss. With the number of valley fever cases on the rise, a wig shop in Bakersfield, Calif., is helping women feel better about themselves.

California budget boosts funding for valley fever

The budget includes $8 million for research and outreach into the disease, caused by inhaling spores that grow in arid soil.