The Central Valley is ground zero for undetected cases of valley fever. Congressman Kevin McCarthy and other leaders are exposing top health officials to this serious disease in a two-day valley fever symposium.
"It is very unique where you have the director of the National Institute of Health, the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the two leading national agencies for America when it comes to diseases and health care here in Bakersfield.," Rep. Kevin McCarthy said. "We want everyone involved which is why we let the local community come as well and I think their voice will make a real difference moving forward."
Officials at the Department of Public Health at Kern Medical Center gave local leaders a tour of a laboratory where researchers test for valley fever.
"What we are really hoping to get out of this is to start a collaboration that we identify our local and various needs so that we can move forward and be able to respond specifically to the issue of valley fever," Dr. Claudia Jonah, Kern County Public Health Officer, said.
Dr. Horace, Mitchell, President of California State University Bakersfield, is also concerned about valley fever affecting the construction workers and students as they begin developing the campus.
"We have 376 acres and we're using about a fourth of it and the rest of it is going to be developed and right now we have three projects under construction," Mitchell said. "Today helps us answer some of those questions about the precautions we need to take."