California Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita Valley-Antelope Valley, has authored a measure declaring August as Valley Fever Month.
Wilk, along with Senators Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) and Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 72 as a way to raise awareness of Valley Fever.
“Cases of Valley Fever have spiked dramatically in the past year, particularly in Los Angeles County where reported cases are up 31 [ercent,” Wilk said.
“Traditionally the Antelope Valley leads the county in incidences of people afflicted with the sickness, so the county wide increase hits close to home,” he said. “It is really important that people are aware of the disease, know its symptoms and seek medical help immediately if they suspect they may have Valley Fever.”
Valley Fever is caused by the inhalation of tiny airborne fungi. The disease attacks the respiratory system and is often mistaken for the flu. If left untreated or mistreated, the infection can spread from the lungs to the bloodstream causing permanent damage to lung and bone tissue, and in some cases meningitis.
Misdiagnosis of Valley Fever is so pervasive that experts say some people suffer and even die from it without knowing they ever had the disease. While the disease has no known cure, early detection and treatment can lessen its severity.
On August 12 there will be a Valley Fever Walk at Apollo Park in Lancaster to draw attention to the sickness.
For more information or to help with the walk, contact Susan Zahnter, at email@example.com.