0CFE69074D054EC786164AC7D52B6357
USA

WeatherBug® Your Weather Just Got Better™

Change Units: °F  | °C

Weather News

USA

Fever Hits Thousands in Parched West Farm Region

May 5, 2013

By Gosia Wozniacka, The Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. - California and federal public health officials say valley fever, a potentially lethal disease, has been on the rise as warming climates and drought have kicked up the dust that spreads it.

The disease can be contracted by simply breathing in fungus-laced spores from dust disturbed by wind as well as human or animal activity.

Data shows the number of valley fever cases rose by more than 850 percent nationwide over the past 13 years, with most cases reported in California and Arizona.

Experts say rainfall followed by hotter, drier weather makes more spores airborne, increasing the number of cases. Improved reporting methods and better diagnosis also partially explain the increase.

A federal health official last week ordered the transfer of more than 3,000 vulnerable inmates from two Central California prisons where several dozen have died of the disease.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

---

What do you think of this story?
Click here for comments or suggestions.

Recent Stories:

News submitted by WeatherBug users

Backyard Blog

News, observations and weather commentary

Photo Gallery

View images of recent storms and seasonal weather.

User Videos

WeatherBug community news and weather videos.

Weather Groups

Discuss severe weather and regional storm activity.

Featured Cameras

Live Camera from a random camera within the United States
View live images and time-lapse video animation from local WeatherBug weather cameras.

WeatherBug Featured Content

Green Living

Green Living

You too can help save our planet and put money back in your wallet. Learn how you can take the first steps to reduce your environmental impact, including driving green, easy ways you can conserve water, and energy saving tips. To learn more and discover the benefits of going green, visit WeatherBug’s green living section. More >

Sponsored Content