Windows Up! Valley Fever on the Rise

California is seeing record number cases of something called "Valley Fever", an illness caused by a fungus found in central valley soil. The fungus thrives in areas of low rainfall and high summer temperatures and the spores are carried by the wind in dust particles. Simply passing through the area can lead to an infection of the lungs with flu like symptoms. There were 78 deaths from the disease in 2017.

Kern county saw most of the cases last year but there were hundreds of other cases in Fresno, Tulare, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles. Statewide, cases have quintupled in the last decade and health officials have yet to pinpoint the cause of the increase. The California Dept of public health says drivers should keep car windows shut when conditions are windy along I-5 and highway 101 in impacted areas.

Cristina Mendonsa

Cristina Mendonsa

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