This article featured an interview with David Filip and Sharon Filip.
Battling a nagging fever, cough and exhaustion? You might want to get to the doctor.
Cases of valley fever, offiically called coccidioidomycosis, in Arizona through October are up 24 percent over the same period last year, but what’s got the attention of epidemiologists is a dramatic spike in recent months. State data from July through October show 138 percent more cases of the potentially deadly respiratory disease statewide as during those same four months in 2014.
…Seeing an increase in cases is frustrating to David Filip and his mother, Sharon Filip, Washington state residents who started a support group called Valley Fever Survivor after Sharon nearly died from valley fever following a visit to Tucson in 2001.
The Filips, who run a closed Facebook page and maintain the website valleyfeversurvivor.com, recently started a Change.org petition to Congress and President Obama demanding a government warning about valley fever, as well as financial support for moving along a vaccine and a cure, which are both in development at the UA.
“Congress and the president should appropriate and approve the funding necessary for the valley fever vaccine and cure projects. It could cost $100 million to bring the current vaccine and cure work to completion,” the petition says. “This is a tiny sum compared to the billion dollars the disease is hemorrhaging from our health care system every year. “
…Both the vaccine and cure will require more money before they can get to market, [VFCE Dr.] Galgiani said.
“If Congress truly heard what valley fever is doing to people, they would come up with the funding,” David Filip said. “It should be able to fund a deadly, debilitating disease.”