Valley fever hits thousands in West Farm Region

Valley feverValley fever is on the rise in West Farm Region as drier climate and warm weather is increasing the dust carrying the spore that is spreading it. This disease is rife in the arid region of the U. S., Central and South America as well as Mexico. It can be contracted by breathing in the fungus-laced spores from the dust. California and federal public officials say that, valley fever is often a misdiagnosed disease that is infecting many people in the U.S.

It has hit the agricultural heartland, and its incidence has dramatically increased in 2010 and 2011. Deputy Director of the Center for Infectious Disease at the California Department of Health, Dr. Gil Chavez said that spores could become airborne in endemic areas when the soil is dry, and it is windy. Heightened concerns about the longstanding valley fever rose last week when a federal official relocated more than 3,000 inmates from two San Joaquin Valley prison where dozens have died of this disease in 2006. State officials are now investigating an outbreak where 28 workers were sick at the two solar plants in San Luis Obispo County in February.

Experts say that people working in construction or dusty fields as well as those with weak immune systems and certain ethnic group are at risk. Visitors and newcomers in the region may be more susceptible to the disease.

According to Disease Control and Prevention, 850 percent of valley fever cases in the U.S. have risen from 1998 – 2011. More than 20,400 cases were reported mostly in California and Arizona in 2011. About 265 people died between 2001 -2008. In California alone, valley fever cases climbed from 700 in 1998 to 5,500 cases in 2011 with the sharpest rise in Kern, Kings, and Fresno counties.

CDC says that about 150,000 valley fever infections go undiagnosed each year because people and doctors are vaguely aware of the disease other than the fact that is difficult to detect. In about half the infections, it is asymptomatic, but in some cases it caused mild to severe flu-like symptoms. In a small percentage of the case, the infection can spread from the lungs to the brain, skin, bones, eyes, which lead to blindness, lung failure, even death.

California Public Health officials are working to train and educate the people and the doctors about the illness. The state has trained country health departments about the fungus causing the valley fever. The information is already included in the California Medical Board newsletter sent to licensed physicians. The CDPH social media and website are now featuring data and information about the disease which includes advice to limit outdoor activities on windy and dry days.

While the prison officials prepare to relocate the inmates, patients and doctors believe that funding research work should be done to work on a cure. After all, if the state is concerned about the prisoners, they should also worry about those who work and live in the valley.

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Autism and the Challenges of Easter April 18, 2014
    For most families living with an autistic loved one, everyday holds certain demands. Holidays, like Easter, provide even further challenges for those with autism. The traditions most people take for granted must be approached from a unique perspective. Zack, who is 11 years old, is moderate to high-functoning on the Autism Spectrum. He loves the […]
    Stacy Lamy
  • Peaches Geldof Funeral Arrangements Shared April 18, 2014
    The funeral arrangements for Peaches Geldof have been shared by her family. It will be a private funeral on Easter Monday (April 21), and will be held in the same church as her mother’s funeral. St. Mary Magdalene and St. Lawrence Church in Davington is also the same church that the 25-year-old socialite married and […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Game of Thrones Spoilers Ruining the Experience? April 18, 2014
    Sharing spoilers of Game of Thrones is ruining the experience for some people. They do not want to know what happens in the episodes before they get a chance to see it themselves. The issue reached its peak so far this week after many publications started sharing the events of the “Purple Wedding” just after […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Game of Thrones Spoilers Lead to Arguments Online April 18, 2014
    The internet has been surrounded with Game of Thrones spoilers this week that include the death of a certain character, and it has led to arguments online. Many people who have not read the books or seen the episode yet have gotten annoyed at publications for sharing the details of the character’s death, and even […]
    Alexandria Ingham
  • Miley Cyrus Hits Out at Hospital Rumors April 18, 2014
    Miley Cyrus has hit out at rumors suggesting her recent trip to hospital was due to her partying ways. A number of publications decided to jump on the idea that the 21-year-old was out partying in a way to get over the recent death of her dog, Floyd. In a statement, which she linked to […]
    Alexandria Ingham

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 626 other subscribers