Today's Law As Amended

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


 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

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