Congressman Kevin McCarthy secures $2M in federal funding to address valley fever

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Congressman Kevin McCarthy said he has secured $2 million in federal funding to address valley fever. 

McCarthy said the funding will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand surveillance, research and awareness efforts and will be part of the federal government’s 2020 budget.

In addition, McCarthy said he has secured a provision in the Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill that encourages the assistant secretary of defense for Health Affairs to research the disease’s effect on service members and limit its impact on military readiness.   

“For years, combating valley fever has been a top priority of mine, and throughout my time in Congress, I am proud to say that I have secured millions of dollars to help with better understanding valley fever, and I will continue fighting for our community so that this disease can finally be eliminated,” McCarthy said. 

Rep. TJ Cox recently introduced a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that also addresses valley fever. 

H.R. 5438, called the End Valley Fever Now Act, direct the Health and Human Services department to award grants to develop programs that increase health care providers’ awareness of valley fever. 

“We must bring more awareness and education as well as access to faster diagnosis and clinical trials,” Cox said. “My bill does just that for the thousands who have contracted valley fever and the millions across California and the Southwest at risk for infection. Central Valley families should be able to work and play outdoors without fear of valley fever, and for those who do have it, we need the best, most advanced care to save their lives.”

There were 2,937 cases in Kern County in 2018, according to the Kern County Department of Public Health. 

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