Kern Launches Public Awareness Campaign For Valley Fever
The county is putting up billboards warning about the dangers of the illness, which causes flu-like symptoms, extreme fatigue, chills and night sweats. Meanwhile, lawmakers want state funding for more research on the disease.
The Bakersfield Californian:
Coming To A Billboard Near You: Valley Fever Awareness Campaign Starts Wednesday
For the first time in decades, the Kern County Department of Public Health will plaster billboards around town and along major highways warning residents of the danger of valley fever, a respiratory disease endemic to the region. The announcement of the billboards – which could begin popping up around town as soon as Wednesday – will come during a press conference Wednesday, when county Public Health officials will also release the final number of valley fever cases in Kern County in 2016. (Pierce, 4/11)
State Lawmakers Seek $2M To Boost Valley Fever Research, Monitoring
New state legislation that would allocate $2 million to support valley fever research and monitoring is the most recent effort to increase awareness of the fungal disease, which is typically mild but can be very dangerous in some cases. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), would take the money from the state’s General Fund and allot it to an already existing valley fever fund operated by the state’s Department of Public Health. The fund supports research for a vaccine to protect against valley fever. The new money would be used to buy research equipment, develop a tracking method and conduct community outreach, according to the text of the legislation. (Ibarra, 4/12)