Clinical Trial Launches Just As Leaders Brace For Repeat Of Great Valley Fever Epidemic
The most severe cases of valley fever stem from lack of early treatment.
The Bakersfield Californian:
Clinical Trial To Begin Amid Looming Valley Fever Epidemic
On the eve of what could be the worst year for valley fever cases since the so-called Great Epidemic of the early 1990s, national health care leaders announced Thursday the start of a clinical trial to gain more insight into the effectiveness of early treatment. The trial, involving the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Duke University and Kern Medical Center, is the first major research study to come out of a national valley fever symposium Congressman Kevin McCarthy hosted here in 2013...The study will run over 72 months and require 1,000 adults exhibiting signs of pneumonia to participate. Half of those individuals will be given Fluconazole, a medication used to treat other fungal ailments but commonly given to valley fever patients without careful study of its effectiveness. The remainder will receive placebos. (Pierce, 10/13)
In other news from across the state —
Antioch’s Bedford Center Expands Its Facilities
Patricia Drake will be among those who will benefit from the center’s expansion to a 5,000-square-foot facility, in order to designate a sizable space for this ever increasing demographic, with a completion slated for some time in November. Given the greater likelihood of getting some sort of dementia diagnosis as one ages — and a projected 299 percent increase of Contra Costa County residents, 85 and older — the need is “imperative,” said Debbie Toth, chief executive officer for Rehabilitation Services of Northern California, which runs the facility, along with the Mt. Diablo Center in Pleasant Hill. Having a separate space will facilitate staff being able to pick up on the nuances of each individual, such as attuning more to their subtle body language cues, to adjusting specific pacing needed to engage them in meaningful conversation, or responding to a need to minimize distraction. (Shaw, 10/14)