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Kern County's two congressman and other House members have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to place valley fever on its list of "qualifying pathogens" to improve the chances of it being studied and better treated.

Often considered a “silent epidemic,” valley fever officially infected 22,000 Americans in 2011 — most of them in California and Arizona — but some think the numbers are much higher.

Arizona congressman David Schweikert and California congressman Kevin McCarthy introduced the Valley Fever Task Force in the House of Representatives last week. The goal of the task force is to take legislative action on Valley Fever issues.

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for an increased focus on a potentially deadly disease

Rep. Kevin McCarthy made another move in his crusade against valley fever Wednesday, announcing the new "Congressional Valley Fever Task Force." The panel is comprised of 11 Republicans and three Democrats from California, Arizona and Texas.

Cases of an incurable illness called valley fever are multiplying at a mystifying rate in the American south-west. Six states are affected, and Mexico too, but few places have been hit as hard as one remote city.

We’re smack dab in the middle of monsoon now, which means it’s time to think about Valley Fever. It’s a lung infection caused by a fungus that lives in the soil in the desert.

Lawyers representing inmates at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Fresno County and Avenal State Prison in Kings County filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court Tuesday. The suit is on behalf of black, elderly, and immune-compromised inmates who acquired valley fever since July 2009, while serving time at the two institutions.

Tiny spores are causing major headaches for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation after a judge ordered the department to move thousands of high-risk inmates from two prisons that have been plagued by valley fever outbreaks in recent years.

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