BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield police detective died Sunday of complications from valley fever, according to Kern Law Enforcement Association.
Detective Kevin Hock died as a result of the illness common to the Central Valley and caused by a fungus that lives in the soil and dirt, according to the union.
Dozens of people posted condolences to the Hock family on the union’s Facebook page.
According to Kern County Public Health officials, there were 2,937 valley fever cases in 2018. That’s a 7 percent increase from the previous year and the highest amount of cases since 1992.
People and animals can contract the illness by breathing in the fungus spores. Symptoms can include fever, cough, chest pain, muscle or joint aches, tiredness, headaches, weight loss and rash.
In rare cases, the illness can lead to death.