Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) Awareness — California, 2016–2017
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Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) Awareness — California, 2016–2017

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) is endemic in the southwestern United States and caused by inhalation of Coccidioides spp. fungal spores from soil or dust; 97% of U.S. Valley fever cases are reported from Arizona and California (1). In California, Valley fever incidence increased 213% from 2014 to 2018 (2). In 2016, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) added three questions to the adult California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey to better understand whether Californians had heard of Valley fever, knew the environmental risk where they live, and knew who is at risk for severe disease. A total of 2,893 BRFSS respondents aged ≥18 years answered at least one Valley fever question. Using the weighted California population, 42.4% of respondents reported general awareness of Valley fever; awareness was lowest among adults aged 18-44 years (32.9%) and Hispanic persons (26.4%). In addition, despite higher percentages reporting awareness of Valley fever, only 25.0% of persons living in a high-incidence region and 3.0% of persons living in a moderate-incidence region were aware that they lived in areas where Coccidioides spp. exist. Among persons with one or more risk factors for severe disease, 50.8% reported having heard about Valley fever, but only 3.5% knew they were at increased risk for severe disease. The findings from this survey helped to inform a statewide Valley fever awareness campaign implemented during 2019-2020 and to guide outreach to persons living in high- and moderate-incidence regions in California and potentially other southwestern states or who are at risk for severe disease.
    • Source:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 69(42):1512-1516
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