(Sacramento) Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) presented Senate Concurrent Resolution 72 which declares August as Valley Fever Awareness Month. In addition to Senator Fuller, SCR 72 is authored by Senators Andy Vidak and Scott Wilk.
Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) is a progressive respiratory disease caused by inhaling airborne fungi.
This fungal spore grows in the arid climate of the southwest United States. In California this includes the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, Central Coast, desert regions, and portions of southern California.
In 2016, Kern County had 2,310 confirmed cases of Valley Fever and 6 deaths, according to the Kern County Public Health Services Department.
“The number of Valley Fever cases is growing and there is no cure, which is why making more people aware of the symptoms of this disease is so important,” said Fuller.
Valley Fever symptoms can be similar to the flu and, if left untreated or mistreated, the infection can enter the bloodstream, cause permanent damage to lung and bone tissue, and swell the membrane surrounding the brain.
As part of her presentation, Senator Fuller introduced several constituents of the 16th Senate District who have survived, or had family members diagnosed with, Valley Fever. They are all active members of Bakersfield’s Valley Fever Americas Foundation which has for over 20 years raised funds for vaccine research.
“These individuals represent just a few of the many people, including myself, that have seen the pain and witnessed the struggle that Valley Fever patients experience. It is my hope that a cure is discovered and these stories become a thing of the past,” concluded Fuller.