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AB-1790 Valley Fever Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/17/2018 04:00 AM
AB1790:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  June 19, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1790


Introduced by Assembly Members Salas and Grayson
(Principal coauthor: Senator Fuller)(Principal coauthors: Senators Fuller and Galgiani)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Acosta, Aguiar-Curry, Bigelow, Bonta, Caballero, Cooper, Cunningham, Flora, Fong, Friedman, Gallagher, Gray, Mathis, Medina, and Patterson)

January 08, 2018


An act to add Part 7.7 (commencing with Section 122475) to Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to valley fever.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1790, as amended, Salas. Valley Fever Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act.
Existing law requires the State Department of Public Health to establish a list of reportable communicable and noncommunicable diseases and conditions and specify the timeliness requirements related to the reporting of each disease and condition. The department is also responsible for licensing and regulating health facilities, including primary health clinics and general acute care hospitals. Existing law requires the department to develop information about various communicable diseases, including hepatitis C and meningococcal disease, and to make the information available to the public. Existing law also supports research into the development of a vaccine to protect against valley fever (coccidioidomycosis).

This bill would establish the Valley Fever Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act. The bill would require the department and the California Conference of Local Health Officers, by July 1, 2019, to make available protocols and guidelines developed by the National Institutes of Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other appropriate professional health care organizations, for educating physicians and other health care providers, as specified, regarding the most recent scientific and medical information on valley fever etiology, transmission, diagnosis, surveillance, and treatment. By imposing new duties on local public health officers, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

This bill would establish the Valley Fever Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act. This bill would, among other things, require the department to conduct a valley fever awareness campaign to communicate with local health jurisdictions, providers, and the public about valley fever, as described. The bill would authorize the department to award grants or enter into contracts to perform activities related to the awareness campaign, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Part 7.7 (commencing with Section 122475) is added to Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

PART 7.7. Valley Fever

122475.
 This part shall be known, and may be cited, as the Valley Fever Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act.

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.

122477.

(a)By July 1, 2019, the department and the California Conference of Local Health Officers shall work together to make available protocols and guidelines developed by the National Institutes of Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other appropriate professional health care organizations, for educating physicians and other health care providers, including, but not limited to, those specified in Section 122478, regarding the most recent scientific and medical information on valley fever etiology, transmission, diagnosis, surveillance, and treatment.

(b)The protocols and guidelines referenced in subdivision (a) may include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:

(1)Tracking and reporting of cases of valley fever by health care professionals and public health officials.

(2)Surveillance programs to determine the prevalence of valley fever in the population at large and in high-risk populations.

(3)Public education and outreach programs to raise awareness of valley fever, including programs targeted to reach high-risk individuals. Education programs may provide information and referrals on valley fever including, but not limited to, education materials developed by health-related companies, community-based or national advocacy organizations, counseling, patient support groups, and existing hotlines for consumers.

122477.
 (a) The department shall conduct a valley fever awareness campaign to communicate with local health jurisdictions, providers, and the public about valley fever. The department’s campaign shall include, but not limited to, both of the following:
(1) Information about valley fever, such as the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, how a person may contract and reduce the risk of contracting the fungal infection, and the populations at risk.
(2) Information about the department’s activities related to valley fever, and how a person can access and receive additional information about the infection from the department.
(b) The department may, as part of its administration of the campaign, provide outreach to all of the following:
(1) The general public.
(2) Geographic regions where valley fever is more endemic.
(3) At-risk populations, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Pregnant women.
(B) Older adults.
(C) Persons with diabetes or weakened immune systems.
(D) African Americans or Filipinos.
(E) (i) Health care providers, including providers who may diagnose or treat individuals for valley fever, and clinicians who work in either primary care or emergency room settings, hospitals, or in the arena of workers’ compensation insurance.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, outreach to health care providers shall also include physician education, resources, and tools.
(4) Health care professional associations or societies.
(5) Health care employers.
(6) Local public health officers and health departments, with an emphasis on endemic areas.
(c) The department shall perform an evaluation of the campaign following the conclusion of the campaign. The department shall make this report available to the public and post it on the department’s Internet Web site.
(d) The department may award grants itself or enter into contracts to perform the requirements of this section. The award of contracts and grants is exempt from Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code and is exempt from approval by the Department of General Services prior to their execution.

SEC. 2.

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.