California Health News

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October 15th, 2012 – Valley Fever High in California Prisoners

Coccidioidomycosis, otherwise known as Valley Fever, is contracted by about 150,000 people every year nationwide. It is induced by a fungus commonly found in Southwestern soil.

Inmates of the Pleasant Valley State Prison suffer from valley fever at a rate of 600 times those in Fresno County. Furthermore, all of the prisons in the San Joaquin Valley have also been struck with an extremely high rate of valley fever.

The cost of treating prison valley fever to the state taxpayers is considerably high. About $23 million annually is spent to treat the condition. Funding for vaccine research has dried up.