NEWS | March 13, 2019

Valley fever on the rise in California


George Thompson, a UC Davis infectious diseases specialist and director of the UC Davis Center for Valley Fever, met with members of the Congressional Task Force on Coccidioidomycosis to address the rising rates of Valley fever.

Congressional Task Force on Coccidioidomycosis Congressional Task Force on Coccidioidomycosis

In 2017 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported of 14,364 cases of Valley fever, the majority of which were in those who live in Arizona or California. And rates are increasing, especially in California. 

“There are more Valley fever infections in California than anywhere else,” Thompson said.  “The number of reported cases in California increased 29 percent, from 5,358 in 2016 to 6,925 in 2017, and preliminary data for 2018 from the California Department of Public Health shows the number of cases reaching nearly 7,900.” 

And because Valley fever causes flu-like symptoms, the true incidence of infection is underestimated, as many cases go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. 

“This bipartisan effort is essential to improve our fundamental understanding of the disease and to develop new effective therapies and vaccines,” he said.