One of the oldest and most studied fungal diseases
The medical name for Valley Fever is coccidioidomycosis – often called “cocci” for short. Valley Fever is caused by a fungus which is a member of the plant family. Molds and mushrooms are examples of other members of the fungus group of plants. The first case reported in the World occurred in 1892 in an Argentinian soldier. Two years later two researchers recognized a similar case in a Portuguese immigrant farm laborer working in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. In Kern County, the first case recognized and reported occurred in August, 1901. Kern’s first case occurred in a 19-year-old man who worked as a canner and been a resident for only 12 days.
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1893First Documented Case in US
Joas Furtado Silveira was the second case. He emigrated from Azores in 1886 and worked as a farm laborer near Modesto, CA
1900William Ophulus and
Determined Coccidioides immitis to be caused by a fungus and not a protozoan
Determined lungs were the entry point for the disease and described the clinical spectrum
1929Harold D. Chope Accidentally Inhales Coccides
Medical student working in Ernest Dicksons Lab at Stanford
1930 First Worker’s Compensation Case in Kern County
Shell Oil Company employee receives compensation for Coccidioidomycosis
2011 First Meeting of the California Cocci Collaborative
Michael MacLean, M.D., M.S., Health Officer, Kings County
Graphs & Charts Tip:
The data in these graphs is interactive. Use your mouse pointer to dig into the statistics to find even more information.
The graphs display the Valley Fever cases and rates per 100,000 for Kern County from 1935 to 2015. To view the cases or the rate, point to the year and the year and measure will be displayed. It is important to note that only the severe form of Valley Fever (disseminate disease) was counted up to July 1955. From July 1955 up to present, all forms are counted.
Although there were 77 cases reported between 1901 and 1929, very little information is available by year so they have been exclude from the graphs. This is not surprising since the Kern County Health Department was established in 1931.
The first Great Epidemic began in 1991 and ended in 1994. The second Great Epidemic began in 2010 and is still continuing.
Click on the second tab to display the Valley Fever deaths and rates per 100,000 for Kern County from 1935 to 2015. The drop the in the number of deaths and rate per 100,000 is not surprising since treatment began with amphotericin B in the late 1950’s. Similarly, the newer drugs in the 1980’s and 1990’s have continued to help prevent death and disability for person’s with Valley Fever.