San Diego has sixth highest rate of valley fever in California; concerns voiced that Imperial County cases may be under-reported

By Janice Arenofsky

July 13, 2014 (San Diego)--More than 160 scientists, researchers and regional activists met in Phoenix on April 5th to learn about and exchange views on the human and economic costs of Coccidioidomycosis (valley fever). Due to recent national and local media coverage of the valley fever epidemic across the Southwest and formation of a Cocci Congressional Task Force headed by two U.S. House Republicans from California and Arizona-- Kevin McCarthy and David Schweikert--the 58th Annual Meeting of the Cocci Study Group brought together a historic number of attendees.

Keynote speaker Steven Holland, MD, deputy director for intramural clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, spoke about human DNA mutations that leave a percentage of people especially vulnerable to valley fever, mycobacterial disease and Job’s Syndrome (immune-mediated disease). Holland concluded that in certain extreme cases of cocci, bone marrow transplants should be considered. He anticipates receiving more referrals of seriously ill cocci patients from Arizona and California physicians.

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