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Bakersfield Assemblymen Vince Fong and Rudy Salas submitted a $7 million budget proposal that, if approved, would be the largest amount of money California has ever designated to research and raise awareness of the disease.
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Bakersfield lawmakers requested $3 million in the state budget last week to research treatments and conduct outreach for valley fever.
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Researchers say a new test for valley fever can return nearly 100 percent accurate results in under two hours. It’s a breakthrough for the orphan disease.
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Valley fever is a fungal respiratory infection that is a constant health threat in vast stretches of the San Joaquin valley. 
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“Valley fever is almost certainly underreported, due to physicians and the public not being familiar with the disease,” said one infectious disease specialist. Reliable estimates of valley fever cases are still lacking.
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Last week, the Health Officers Assoc. of California announced it will launch a continuing medical education program for valley fever. It shouldn't have required widespread press and the new U.S. House majority leader to get to this point.

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New research proves for the first time that the fungus that causes valley fever is living in Washington state, far outside its traditional boundaries in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico. While the findings aren't cause for panic, the news suggests clinicians should be on the watch for symptoms.

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Directors of the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell a packed valley fever symposium they are "serious" about finding a better treatment for the disease.

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On Monday, valley fever and the California area hit hardest by it will receive unprecedented attention in a two-day symposium led by U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. Rarely do the leaders of CDC and the NIH - two of the most powerful health institutions in the world - join the stage.

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California’s tally of valley fever cases dropped by more than 1,000 last year and some counties have also seen fewer cases in the early months of 2013. But public health officials say it’s too early to identify long-term trends in the numbers.

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