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Two Valley Fever Bills Make Progress In California Legislature

Office of Asm. Rudy Salas
The two bills were introduced by Bakersfield assemblymember Rudy Salas.

Two bills that could improve valley fever research made it one step closer to law on Thursday, passing out of the California Assembly and into the state Senate. 

The bills aim to streamline the state’s inconsistent reporting guidelines for valley fever, a fungal disease caused by inhaling spores that grow in arid soil. Reporting requirements for the disease vary by county, making it difficult to tally and study the disease burden across the state. 

Rob Purdie with Valley Fever Americas is excited that the two bills are moving through the state legislature. "These were bipartisan bills with tons of cosponsors," he says. "That to me is really exciting because as a survivor, I feel like they’re listening and they care and they want to do something."

The two bills were introduced by Bakersfield assemblymember Rudy Salas. AB 1787 would set an annual deadline for all counties to report disease tallies to the state. AB 1788 would allow valley fever cases to be confirmed in laboratories, without confirmation from a doctor.

Two other bills in this valley fever package, addressing worker safety and physician training, are still working their way through the state Assembly.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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