This disease has a negative impact, not only on the individual with Valley Fever, but their family, loved ones, friends, and the entire community. Our mission has never been more clear. We remain focused on increasing education and awareness for the public, patients, and health care providers; providing the best patient care available and performing research that includes epidemiology, clinical drug development, prevention, immunology, and immunizations.
To say Valley Fever is on the rise is an understatement; the reality is stark. The number of diagnosed cases of Valley Fever has tripled in the last five years and models show that by the year 2100, the range of Valley Fever will expand to cover 17 states. There are currently over 47.5 million people living in a Valley Fever Endemic Zone and, on average, 200 people die from Valley Fever annually. In California alone, the lifetime cost burden for cases diagnosed in 2017 was estimated to be approximately 700 million dollars.
Recent shifts in climate, marked by periods of drought followed by high precipitation, have created ideal growth and spore-forming conditions for Valley Fever to thrive. Kern County is diverse in terms of its population and industries, with major employers leading in Energy, Agriculture, Construction, and Defense, all of which face a uniquely elevated risk of exposure when winds or work disturb spores.