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Valley Fever

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2013 | By Paige St. John
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stepped in to investigate outbreaks of valley fever in two California prisons, where more than three dozen inmates have died with the fungal disease. Staff from the Atlanta-based centers' disease investigation unit met with state prison health officials Tuesday, and another meeting is planned later this week. California's health department formally requested the assistance last week on behalf of a court-appointed monitor after the state corrections department failed to follow through with repeated requests that it seek federal help.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2013 | By Jason Wells
When a woman began choking at a restaurant and the Heimlich maneuver failed, doctors who were dining nearby performed an emergency tracheotomy with a pocket knife, using a pen as a breathing tube. The dramatic save unfolded Monday night at the Mark, a restaurant in Bakersfield, when Pauline Larwood, a former Kern County supervisor who serves as a community college trustee, started choking on a piece of meat, the Bakersfield Californian reported. Working in Larwood's favor: She was at a symposium on valley fever and surrounded by accomplished physicians from throughout the nation.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2013 | By Paige St. John
BAKERSFIELD -- Federal health officials have announced they are planning clinical trials of two common treatments for valley fever. U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has worked for several years to increase federal response to valley fever, says the clinical trials will raise awareness of the fungal disease and inch it closer to being combated with a vaccine. "That is our ultimate goal," he told a packed meeting hall of valley fever victims and survivors Monday evening in Bakersfield.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2013 | By Paige St. John
BAKERSFIELD -- Federal health officials have announced they are planning clinical trials of two common treatments for valley fever. U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has worked for several years to increase federal response to valley fever, says the clinical trials will raise awareness of the fungal disease and inch it closer to being combated with a vaccine. "That is our ultimate goal," he told a packed meeting hall of valley fever victims and survivors Monday evening in Bakersfield.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
Valley fever cases have skyrocketed in California and other Southwestern states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were more than 22,000 cases in 2011 in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, up from 2,265 in 1998, according to a CDC report released Thursday. Of all the cases reported nationwide between 1998 and 2011, 66% were in Arizona and 31% were in California. Valley fever is a fungal respiratory infection and can lead to flu-like symptoms that can last weeks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Lawyers for California prison inmates charge that the state has done little to protect inmates from contracting valley fever, a sometimes lethal fungal disease prevalent in the southern San Joaquin Valley. In a court motion filed Tuesday, those lawyers allege that the state has ignored recommendations made in November by a federal medical receiver that include suspending the transfer of African Americans and individuals with diabetes, HIV or immune deficiencies to the two prisons in that valley.
SCIENCE
September 24, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
In an interview with The Times,  U.S. Centers for Disease Control  Director Dr. Thomas Frieden called valley fever "a big and growing problem" that presents "substantial" economic and health costs for Californians. The CDC chief -- along with   National Institutes of Health   Director Dr. Francis Collins, U.S. Rep.  Kevin McCarthy  (R-Bakersfield) and others -- was in Kern County this week for a two-day symposium on the fungal disease. During a program Monday night, the officials announced that they would work with physicians in California's Central Valley, where the fungus that causes valley fever is widespread in the soil, to conduct a clinical trial to evaluate treatments for the illness.  There is no cure for valley fever.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2013 | By Julie Cart
Epidemiologists are investigating an outbreak of valley fever that has sickened 28 workers at two large solar-power construction sites in San Luis Obispo County. Staff from the California Department of Public Health, and investigators from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and San Luis Obispo County visited the sites near the Carrizo Plain two months ago, officials said. They identified the sites as the Topaz Solar Farm and California Valley Solar Ranch, two large-scale photovoltaic power plants whose construction often requires considerable scraping and clearing to make way for thousands of acres of solar panels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2013 | By Paige St. John
California corrections officials say they will try to "fully comply" with a federal court order to move up to 2,600 inmates at risk of contracting valley fever out of harms way. Tuesday's announcement follows an order late last month by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, after a court-appointed receiver declared that African Americans and other prisoners with elevated risk of dying from the soil-borne fungus should be immediately moved....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2013 | By Paige St. John
The federal court official in charge of running healthcare for California's troubled prison system on Monday directed the state to immediately remove more than a third of the inmates at two state prisons because of the risk of valley fever. The directive from J. Clark Kelso follows an expert's report filed in U.S. District Court last week concluding that the incidence of the potentially fatal fungus poses a "public health emergency. " California corrections officials had no immediate response, though the department said last month it was working on its own valley fever response plan.
SCIENCE
September 24, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
In an interview with The Times,  U.S. Centers for Disease Control  Director Dr. Thomas Frieden called valley fever "a big and growing problem" that presents "substantial" economic and health costs for Californians. The CDC chief -- along with   National Institutes of Health   Director Dr. Francis Collins, U.S. Rep.  Kevin McCarthy  (R-Bakersfield) and others -- was in Kern County this week for a two-day symposium on the fungal disease. During a program Monday night, the officials announced that they would work with physicians in California's Central Valley, where the fungus that causes valley fever is widespread in the soil, to conduct a clinical trial to evaluate treatments for the illness.  There is no cure for valley fever.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown is getting some help from four previous California governors as he fights to block the release of inmates from the state's crowded prisons. The governors - Republicans Pete Wilson, George Deukmejian and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Gray Davis - filed a brief on Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of bolstering Brown's case. A panel of three federal judges have ordered the state to release more than 9,500 inmates by the end of the year to meet a court-ordered target for reducing prison crowding.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy and Paige St. John
Over objections from Republican lawmakers, the state Senate on Thursday confirmed Gov. Jerry Brown's pick to run a corrections department one legislative leader described as "a system in crisis. " Jeffrey Beard, who came out of retirement after serving as chief of Pennsylvania's prisons, now officially commands a system with 29,000 inmates in the fourth day of a massive meal strike, a federal order to shrink the prison population by 9,600, and two facilities stricken with fatal cases of valley fever.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2013 | By Paige St. John
California corrections officials say they will try to "fully comply" with a federal court order to move up to 2,600 inmates at risk of contracting valley fever out of harms way. Tuesday's announcement follows an order late last month by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, after a court-appointed receiver declared that African Americans and other prisoners with elevated risk of dying from the soil-borne fungus should be immediately moved....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
Federal judges are trying to turn up the heat on Gov. Jerry Brown to get him to release inmates from California's crowded prisons. But politically speaking, Brown is in the stronger position, says George Skelton in his Monday column. "The judges are threatening to hold Brown in contempt of court if he refuses to free the felons," he writes. "Go ahead, to paraphrase a former Carmel mayor, make his day. Fine him. Skelton adds, "That's one fine, I suspect, most California taxpayers would gladly pay for a governor trying to keep bad guys behind bars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2013 | By Paige St. John
Gov. Jerry Brown's administration disputes complaints that the governor's vocal legal challenges to orders to improve prison conditions has brought progress to a halt. The federal court-appointed medical receiver in charge of prison healthcare filed a progress report Wednesday that said the result of remarks by top state officials that California has spent "too many resources and too much money" on prisons "has been to freeze and ossify" his own progress with the state. Corrections officials responded late Wednesday with their own public statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2013 | By Paige St. John, This post has been updated. See below for details.
This post has been updated. See the note below for details. California corrections officials are seeking help from other state agencies before moving on recommendations to divert large numbers of inmates from valley fever-stricken prisons. “The health and safety of our employees and of the inmates housed in our prisons is of the utmost importance," the state corrections department said in a statement. It was released after lawyers for inmates on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order California to stop sending at-risk inmates to the two San Joaquin Valley prisons where valley fever has been tied to 43 inmate deaths.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 1994 | SCOTT HADLY
Four specialists from the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta are in Ventura County to examine the high number of cases of valley fever, health officials said Tuesday. The team has confirmed at least 150 cases of the disease just in the month of February, said Dr. Rana Hajjeh, a medical epidemiologist working on the CDC team. Over the last few years, Ventura County has averaged 50 cases a year, said Hajjeh, who attributed the outbreak to the dust stirred up by the Jan. 17 earthquake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2013 | By Paige St. John
In a report Wednesday to federal judges, the official overseeing prison medical care said Gov. Jerry Brown's public opposition to crowding reductions, and his corrections officials' refusal to move inmates at risk of a deadly disease, show California is unready to run its own prisons. The immediate focus of J. Clark Kelso's ire is California's refusal to implement his May 1 directive requiring the state to move nearly half the inmates from two Central Valley prisons afflicted with valley fever.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2013 | By Paige St. John
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stepped in to investigate outbreaks of valley fever in two California prisons, where more than three dozen inmates have died with the fungal disease. Staff from the Atlanta-based centers' disease investigation unit met with state prison health officials Tuesday, and another meeting is planned later this week. California's health department formally requested the assistance last week on behalf of a court-appointed monitor after the state corrections department failed to follow through with repeated requests that it seek federal help.
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