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This past June a federal judge ordered the relocation of thousands of prisoners from two prisons in the San Joaquin Valley in California to protect imprisoned men against a small fungus, Coccidioides immitis, that could infiltrate the gated and locked Pleasant Valley and Avenal state prisons and continue to cause isolated cases of a debilitating illness, valley fever.

A serious fungal disease you can contract simply by breathing a few spores is 1,001 times more common at California’s Pleasant Valley State Prison than the state average. Non-white inmates are particularly vulnerable.

Following a federal court order, the state is moving hundreds of inmates deemed to be at higher risk of developing serious cases of valley fever out of Pleasant Valley and Avenal state prisons.

Valley fever is hard to diagnose, even harder to treat, and potentially fatal—and the number of cases is rising dramatically.

Medical experts are calling it a silent epidemic. The disease known as Valley Fever is spreading here in California, hitting more people than ever before.

In the Mojave Desert, extreme heat and wind made worse by more intense weather conditions in recent years has helped the spread of a resilient fungus that causes a deadly infection known as Valley Fever. Ray Suarez reports on the role of dust in the dramatic rise of Valley Fever.

U.S. House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy visited the University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence Thursday.

The fungal spores that cause valley fever are found in the soil in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. So why should veterinarians and pet owners living outside of places such as Phoenix and San Diego familiarize themselves with valley fever’s symptoms and treatments?

California's prisons this week will start transferring inmates susceptible to Valley Fever from two Central Valley prisons, where infections from the airborne fungus sickened more than 1,800 prisoners between 2008 and 2012.

With the monsoon season here, Scottsdale Healthcare experts encourage individuals to safeguard themselves against Valley Fever, a lung infection caused by a fungus that lives in desert soil.

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