Valley Fever cases on the rise in California

August 11, 2017 8:55am
Comment Print Email

•  Kern, Fresno, Kings, Madera, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, and Tulare counties among hardest hit areas

•  CDC makes suggestions for businesses with outside workers

The number of reported cases of Valley Fever is increasing in the Central Valley, according to a report Friday from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Valley Fever is an infectious disease caused by breathing in “Coccidioides” spores that are found in the soils of the southern San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere in the Southwest.

Patients most often experience mild flu-like symptoms, but Valley Fever also can lead to severe pulmonary disease and to rare cases of diseases such as meningitis. Those at increased risk for severe disease include persons of African or Filipino descent, pregnant women, adults in older age groups, and persons with weakened immune systems.

The CDC says that in 2016, a large increase in Valley Fever cases was seen in California compared with previous years.

The reasons for the increased incidence of Valley Fever in California in 2016, particularly in the Central Valley and Central Coast regions, are not known, but climatic and environmental factors favorable to spore proliferation and airborne release might have contributed, including rainfall after several years of drought and soil disturbance resulting from construction, the CDC report says.

From 1995, when Valley Fever became an individually reportable disease in California, to 2009, annual incidence rates ranged from 1.9 to 8.4 cases per 100,000 in population, followed by a substantial increase to 11.9 per 100,000 in 2010 and a peak of 13.8 per 100,000 in 2011.

Annual rates decreased during 2012-2014, but increased in 2016 to 13.7 per 100,000, with 5,372 reported cases, the highest annual number of cases in California recorded to date.

Most cases last year were in residents of the Central Valley and Central Coast regions, with 42 percent (2,238 cases, or 251.7 per 100,000) reported from Kern County and 28 percent (1,515 cases, or 54.5 cases per 100,000) from six other counties -- Fresno, Kings, Madera, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, and Tulare.

From 2015 to 2016, the combined incidence from these seven counties increased 109 percent, from 48.9 per 100,000 (2015) to 102.3 (2016), while the rate in the remaining counties in California increased by 18 percent (from 3.8 to 4.5 per 100,000).

Other findings from the CDC report about the 2016 Valley Fever outbreak include:

• Incidence was highest among persons aged 40-59 years (18.8 per 100,000)

• However, the sharpest increases in incidence from 2015 to 2016 occurred in persons aged younger than 20 years of age: 134 percent) and those between 20 and 39 years (90 percent)

• Rates were higher among males (17.3 per 100,000) than among females (10.0).

Incidence rates by race and ethnicity were not calculated because these data were missing for approximately one third (32.7 percent) of reports.

To decrease the risk for infection, the CDC says, persons living, working, or traveling in areas where Valley Fever is endemic, especially those at increased risk for severe disease, should limit exposure to outdoor dust as much as possible, including staying inside and keeping windows and doors closed during windy weather and dusty conditions.

Previous outbreaks have occurred among persons working outdoors in areas where the spores are endemic, including construction workers.

Recommendations for reducing the risk for infection on construction worksites include using personal protective respiratory equipment, dust suppression, and worker education.

Comment Print Email

  • How to compete against Wal-Mart
  • Stockton mom turns a need into a business
  • The entrepreneur is in
  • Writing her own success story
  • Growing a small business the family way
  • The future pencils positive for this company
  • Niche marketing -- Italian style
  • Sipping success with niche marketing
  • Roasting a business out of his passion
  • Success as an independent consultant takes more than expertise
  • Avoiding the traps of employee law violations
  • Cracking the voice-over market
  • The American Dream realized, one package at a time
  • Female winemaker plunges into business
  • A new take on nurse education
  • Family sees moving business success
  • STEM thrives in pockets of education innovation
  • STEM goes solar in Stockton
  • Quick! There’s a robot in my pool
  • Retiring seniors can mean new business
  • Predawn biotech class trains next generation of science workers
  • Staying ahead of the competition the old fashioned way
  • Central Valley sees mismatch between high-tech jobs and job seekers
  • STEM starts young
  • Get ready – the future is here now
  • STEM Education: Growing the Valley's Future
  • They’re low power in wattage only, not ideas
  • Thinking success spawns Successful Thinkers
  • Small business success can mean finding the right niche
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Getting the scoop on small business success
  • Reshoring could rebuild America's manufacturing
  • Marketing that’s deliberately anchored to the past
  • Guitar artist plays his way to success
  • Paralysis no handicap for this entrepreneur
  • Boost sales with better communication
  • Making sandwiches sexy with a franchise
  • Going solar without spending a lot of money
  • They’re cute and cuddly. But are they a business?
  • Opportunity sails forth in the Delta
  • How bad etiquette on the job could kill your career
  • Growing their way out of hunger and poverty
  • Finding small business success from floor to ceiling
  • Why he’s public enemy #1 – for gophers
  • Running a home-based business successfully
  • Your boss needs a vacation – really
  • Couple makes transition from big corporations to small business
  • Carving a small business niche with a better idea
  • Calm is the goal of computer service and education franchisor
  • Developer squeezing new life into downtown with juice franchise
  • Signs of a recovering economy
  • How to keep a family business in the family
  • Ford dealership expands despite the Great Recession
  • Utility Telephone connects with customer service
  • Crowdfunding basics
  • The roar from crowdfunding is getting louder
  • California water wars’ bulldog
  • Water wars heat up in California
  • Helping businesses grow with a stronger STEM
  • How to retain your best employees
  • Small business runs success up the pole
  • Winery expands in Lodi
  • Lodi wineries tapping into growing Chinese market
  • Has the jobs picture brightened for the Valley for 2012?
  • The right education will be needed for 21st Century jobs
  • Where new jobs for San Joaquin will come from
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin – Part 2
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin
  • Fruits of his labor
  • Helping grow food security in the Valley of plenty
  • Doing a business turnaround despite the recession
  • Keeping customers loyal helps build her business
  • Expo exposes businesses to utility contracting ideas
  • Drink mix maker taps expertise to blend success
  • Entrepreneur finds success in a basket
  • Tips for catching resume fraud
  • There’s no checking out for this small business owner
  • Entrepreneurs take Valley sports play-by-play to the world
  • Starting a winery from scratch
  • Job hunting tips for the long-term unemployed
  • In the Central Valley, opera isn’t always the Grand Ole Opry
  • Branding ideas for small businesses
  • The ump’s not blind, but the players are
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way - Part Two
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way
  • Machines talking to machines is the future
  • Getting involved in the fight against AIDS
  • Franchised divorce says it’s a better way
  • Small business owner is brewing a success story
  • To beat the Great Recession, they’ve expanded
  • Taking a swing at strokes
  • Alert your taste buds – here comes Taste of San Joaquin
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Passion for his city drives him
  • Vicente Fox speaks out on U.S.-Mexico relations
  • Give your support staff recognition and reap top performance
  • Central Valley baker gets top honors for Royal Wedding pie
  • Asparagus Festival ends on high note
  • Stockton close to annual ‘tipping’ point
  • Framing small business success
  • Small business sees Affordable Care Act helping its bottom line
  • What you eat – and when – helps local restaurants
  • Coping with the aftermath of foreclosure
  • How to raise charming children
  • Central Valley grad school goes all-iPads
  • Solution to Delta water wars voiced
  • Making sure your personal bottom line is covered
  • Small California winemaker is all family
  • Small winery relies on family and innovation to compete
  • Central Valley company says it has a better way to store solar power
  • What’s wrong -- and right -- about local TV news
  • What planning means to small business success
  • Making the leap to small business
  • Out of work at middle age? Experts offer advice
  • Small business marketing, one article at a time
  • Congress on your corner as it’s supposed to be
  • Central Valley city’s heritage rediscovered
  • Central Valley school is building students’ foundations
  • Job tips from the expert
  • Long-term jobless worker re-invents himself
  • Building a new power plant means jobs for Central Valley
  • Sacramento reaches for the stars with new science center
  • Lodi Chamber opens China’s doors to small business
  • Writing books for fun – and sometimes profit
  • Black Friday shopping? How to protect yourself from scams
  • California winemakers can find added rewards overseas
  • Wine makers tap overseas markets from Lodi
  • A new revenue stream for Central Valley small businesses
  • Food bank seeks more business support
  • Tips for finding a job in the Great Recession
  • State may solve some of its prison woes with new Stockton facility
  • A solution to underwater mortgages
  • Should public libraries be managed by private firms?
  • Central Valley moves ahead with critical water project
  • Dee Dee Myers and the increasing impact of women on small business
  • How women are growing their small businesses
  • A market with a mission
  • Retailer 'paints' solutions to cash flow challenge
  • An answer for the unemployed – return to school
  • A ‘golden’ small business success story
  • Central Valley winegrapes blessed
  • Rubbing out the recession with a franchise
  • Surviving the recession as a small business
  • It’s personal, union says of Stockton fire cuts
  • How old it too old to start a new business?
  • They've found the recipe for small business success
  • MBA students help revive Central Valley farmers market
  • Classic wooden yachts anchor in Stockton for weekend
  • Foreclosures, short sales – a bank president comments
  • The strength of family helps this small business compete
  • Festival spears success in Central Valley
  • Social media helps keep family business prospering
  • Central Valley students get training in ‘green’ futures
  • Knives readied as Valley cities slash services
  • Central Valley jobless picture still grim
  • Delta residents told to ready for water war
  • Opportunities outlined for Central Valley small businesses
  • Rewiring your brain for success
  • Central Valley no longer ‘shell shocked’ by recession
  • To fix California’s government, look to London
  • Taking your sales pitch to the next level