“They need straight information in the fields. People going field to field, informing.”
Story Source: Monterey County sees Valley Fever tenfold increase
Rogelio Jacinto doesn’t know if he can sing anymore — it’s a struggle just to breathe.
This article from Chelcey Adami for the Salinas Californian discusses Jacinto’s case and puts it in context with the ongoing outbreak
“I never heard that Valley Fever was in this valley,” Jacinto said. “I’ve heard of it in Arizona and the desert…. I never heard of it here.”
In fact, cases of Valley Fever in Monterey County have skyrocketed over the last few years, prompting county health officials, medical providers, employers and residents to take safeguards.
“We’ve seen, over the last three to four years, a profound increase in the number of cases of Valley Fever in our community,” said Dr. Allen Radner, chief medical officer of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare District and an infectious disease specialist.
In 2008, just 30 cases of Valley Fever were reported, according to the Monterey County Health Department.
That number began creeping up over the next few years — with 80 cases reported in both 2011 and 2012 — before dipping down to 24 cases in 2014.
Then it spiked to 80 cases in 2016 and more than doubled to 200 cases in 2017. Last year, there were 240 Valley Fever cases reported in Monterey County.
“It’s a significant increase in the number of cases,” said Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County health officer and director of public health…”Everyone has seen a big increase, particularly in California, and it has happened three years running … Monterey County has really kind of surpassed lots of other counties,” Radner said.
South County has been hit the hardest, with a rate of 117.3 per 100,000 people, compared to Salinas at 37.4 at the next highest rate, according to 2016-2018 county data.
While Monterey County used to be more “middle of the road” in the number of Valley Fever cases, it has risen to be one of the counties with the highest incidence rates in the state.
Counties with the highest statewide incidence in 2017 according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH):
- Kern (305.7 per 100,000; 2,748 case-patients)
- Kings (172.7 per 100,000; 260 case-patients)
- San Luis Obispo (150.4 per 100,000; 419 case-patients)
- Fresno (82.4 per 100,000; 824 case-patients)
- Tulare (58.2 per 100,000; 275 case-patients)
- Madera (41.3 per 100,000; 65 case-patients)
- Monterey (41.1 per 100,000; 182 case-patients)
“Monterey County has become one of the major epicenters,” Radner said “Everyone is seeing an increase, but we’re seeing a disproportionate increase.”