(Sacramento) Today, Senator Jean Fuller’s (R-Bakersfield) request for $3 million for Valley Fever research at the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical was signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
“This has been a long, dramatic fight to get this funding to where it is needed most and where it will be most effective,” said Senator Fuller. “The Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center is well-positioned to make the most of this investment, and provide the most direct care to patients who are fighting this devastating disease.”
According to a Kern County Public Health report, in 2017, Valley Fever infected 2,929 people and killed 9 in Kern County. This represents the 4th consecutive yearly increase in reported cases.
Senator Fuller’s request will expand research and treatment facilities at the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center. This expansion will increase the number of patients who can receive the best treatments available, and will aid in the race to find a cure for Valley Fever.
The $3 million request for the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center is part of a one-time $8 million General Fund expenditure, which includes $2 million for outreach and awareness at the Department Public Health and $3 million for research for the University of California.
The initial request was made on February 8, 2018 with Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) signing on as coauthors.
Valley Fever, or Coccidioidomycosis, is a fungus found in the soil of dry, low rainfall areas. Valley Fever is caused by air or soil disturbance of tiny fungi, which live and breed within the soil. When the dust containing the spores is breathed in, the fungus attacks the respiratory system, causing infection that can lead to symptoms that resemble a cold, influenza, or pneumonia.