House Majority Leader and Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy is calling for a grant to help more community care facilities detect Valley Fever. 

McCarthy, along with 16 other representatives, wrote a letter to National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins in support of the grant, which would assist doctors in acquiring a diagnostic tool from Immuno-Mycologics, Inc. The tool, called the Total Antibody Lateral Flow Assay, consists of a dipstick test to detect Valley Fever in human blood. 

The letter says the device has been approved by the FDA for use in hospitals and labs, but not primary care settings. 

“The potential for IMMY approval in primary care settings is expecially important to rural communities that are so common in the Central Valley and that care for so many of our neighbors,” McCarthy said in a press release. “With a more available and accurate diagnostic test we will be able to better understand and fight Valley Fever.” 

The funding from the grant would help bring the tool to community health care providers, such as primary care physicians.