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SB-691 Valley fever.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/22/2019 09:00 PM


Senate Bill
No. 691

Introduced by Senator Grove

February 22, 2019

An act to amend Section 122476 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to public health.


SB 691, as introduced, Grove. Valley fever.
The Valley Fever Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act requires the State Department of Public Health to conduct a valley fever awareness campaign to communicate with local health jurisdictions, providers, and the public about valley fever. The act authorizes the department to award grants or enter into contracts to perform activities related to the awareness campaign, and requires the department to evaluate the awareness campaign following its conclusion. Existing law repeals those provisions on January 1, 2021.
This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to a provision of the act.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 122476 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

 (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 acquire valley fever need to require a stay in the a hospital.
(c) People get acquire 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 acquire valley fever, but some people are at higher risk for developing valley fever, such as including 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 acquiring valley fever.