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Valley Fever On The Rise In San Joaquin County

Chart: San Joaquin County Public Health Services, Data: California Department of Public Health, *Data are provisional (up to date as of 10/4/2017). Counts most likely will not match other reports due to differences in reporting.

Valley Fever has become a major concern this year in San Joaquin County.

In the last 3 years, the number of cases has tripled and this year could set a new record high.

Valley Fever is spread by a fungus in the dirt with spores causing a variety of symptoms including fever, body aches, and cough.

The disease can last for months and can even cause death.

This year San Joaquin County has seen 128 cases so far but November and December are usually the months which account for the majority of cases.

San Joaquin County Health Officer Dr. Karen Furst says people who work in construction and farming are more at risk.

“The fungus is only found in the soil in certain locations," Furst says, "so people who work outside in those locations are the people who are more likely to get exposed to the disease.”

Kern County has the highest number of cases in the state, and San Joaquin County comes in 7th.

And within San Joaquin County, the city of Tracy has seen the highest rate of infection.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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