“His family often had to choose between food and his medication”
July 5, 2019 9:49 AM   Subscribe

“Coccidioidomycosis or cocci (pronounced “coxy”) thrives in dry, undisturbed soil; it becomes airborne when that soil is disturbed—whether it’s by dirt bikes, construction crews, or farmers putting in new fruit or nut orchards. It can travel on the wind as far as 75 miles away. Years of climate change-fueled drought and a 240 percent increase in dust storms appear have led to a swift rise in the number of people diagnosed with the illness across the Southwest. According to the California Department of Public health, new cases in the state rose 10 percent between 2017 and 2018.” Climate Change-Fueled Valley Fever is Hitting Farmworkers Hard (Civil Eats)
posted by The Whelk (8 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man! I learned about this last year when I was writing my undergrad thesis. Apparently Black people tend to be more susceptible, for what appear to be unknown reasons.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:52 AM on July 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also, this gets into the news every time there is a decent sized earthquake, so get ready to hear about it a lot in the coming days
posted by sideshow at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

They should pay for the fluconazole with their grant monies, first. That medication should be free, if we want to eat fruit and nuts. This disease isn't limited to farm workers, the valley is agriculture all the time, the air is like a suspension a lot of the time, I had family in Bakersfield come down with this, who works in an office. The central Valley of California is a sandpile around the ankles of the Sierras and the coastal ranges. It blows particulates laden with debilitating toxins, and fungal spores. It is hurting the agricultural workers, though a lot of health outfits look to the health of anyone who will come in the door in Bakersfield. Clinica Sierra Vista is one of them.
posted by Oyéah at 11:47 AM on July 5, 2019 [5 favorites]

This has been around a while. My friend, a New Englander whose family moved to Phoenix in the 1960s got Valley Fever as a kid. She says it's the sickest she's ever been and she once had an emergency appendectomy. Her family had a grapefruit orchard.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:52 AM on July 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ask the Natives. This has been kicking them all along. Navajo for sure. Probably Hopi, as well.
posted by Goofyy at 4:11 PM on July 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

It's hard to see all the problems people in Central California face. Poverty, air pollution, water shortages, scorching summers, Valley Fever. I spent one year there. I was so happy to leave but I feel for all the people who have no option but to stay.
posted by mundo at 4:56 PM on July 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

We as a country need to come to grips with how our food is produced, and we need to care for the people who do the hard work of producing it. I spent a week with rural workers, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking to people in the c-suite, and I tell you what, every single migrant worker ive met does more labor in a day than ceos do in a month.

Situations like this, and other health concerns that are going to arise as climate changes force people and crops to move, are why we need to move towards socialism and universal healthcare. Nobody should be dying so we can have a bowl of mixed nuts.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:06 PM on July 5, 2019 [13 favorites]

Definitely not a new thing in the SW, but like coyotes, is spreading.

Had it when I was younger and slept for 2 or 3 days straight. I really don't know how it's affected me since, since it apparently doesn't go away.
posted by bongo_x at 3:49 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

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