2020 California Code
Health and Safety Code - HSC
PART 7.7 - Valley Fever
Section 122476.


(a) Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis, is a lung infection caused by a fungus that lives in the soil. Approximately 10,000 cases are reported each year, mostly from California and bordering states.

(b) Valley fever is a serious, costly illness. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 75 percent of people with valley fever miss work or school. As many as 40 percent of people who get valley fever need to stay in the hospital.

(c) People get valley fever by breathing in microscopic fungal spores from the air in areas where the fungus lives. Anyone who lives in or travels to these areas can get valley fever, but some people are at higher risk for developing valley fever, such as older adults, people who have weakened immune systems, pregnant women, people with diabetes, people who are Black or Filipino, and people who have jobs that expose them to dust, such as agricultural or construction workers.

(d) The symptoms of valley fever are similar to those of other common illnesses, so patients may have delays in getting diagnosed and treated. The initial symptoms may appear one to three weeks after exposure. They tend to resemble those of the flu, and can range from minor to severe, including fever, cough, chest pain, chills, night sweats, headache, fatigue, joint aches, and a red spotty rash.

(e) In areas with valley fever, it is difficult to completely avoid exposure to the fungus because it is in the environment. There is no vaccine to prevent infection. Knowing about valley fever is one of the most important ways to avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment.

(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to raise awareness of the symptoms, tests, and treatments for valley fever among the general public, primary health care providers, and health care providers who care for persons at higher risk for getting valley fever.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 338, Sec. 1. (AB 1790) Effective January 1, 2019.)

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