November 20, 2017
Valley Fever increase baffles health officials
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Tuesday reported an increase in the number of new Valley Fever cases compared with the same period in 2016.

From January 1 through October 31, 5,121 provisional cases of Valley Fever were reported in California an increase of 1,294 cases.

In the Inland Empire, there have been 215 cases this year compared to 123 in 2016. In San Bernardino County, the number more than doubled.

The number of Valley Fever cases varies from year to year, and by season. Cases can be more common in the late summer and fall. Health officials have not been able to explain the increased.

Valley fever has been concentrated in the southern San Joaquin Valley and the Central Coast, said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “In these areas, anyone who develops flu-like symptoms, such as cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, lasting two weeks or more, should ask their health care provider about Valley Fever.”

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is caused by the spore of a fungus that grows in soil in parts of California, Arizona, and other areas of the southwestern United States. People get infected by breathing in spores present in dust that gets into the air when it is windy or when soil is disturbed, such as through digging during construction.
Story Date: November 14, 2017
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