4.17.2014

Video from KVIE

A face to the disease.

Occupational exposure

Well, this just came across my desk today - Occupation exposure among cast and crew. It brings up several interesting aspects- number one being, I wish I knew who the actor was! Maybe we could have a spokesperson for VF! Other than that selfish response, I think it also highlights a great source of data that is only available in California. No other state considers coccidioidomycosis as a work related injury. I imagine these are not the only cases of cluster infections, but it seems that it would be really helpful to follow more of these exposures, and combine with our soil analysis. I'll be reporting more on soil work, as my lab just got funding to expand theses studies and my hope is that we will have a very robust and scalable application for environmental detection.

4.16.2014

CSG 2014

Forgot to mention the annual Coccidioidomycosis meeting that happened weekend before last. It was very well attended, with some higher profile researchers giving talks. After the main meeting on Saturday, we had a gathering of folks interested in Cocci in the soil. Will post more info as it becomes available. For now, we are developing a linked in group. Comment or email to request joining.

2.04.2014

More VF in the news

Another recent article on Daily Beast about Valley Fever. It goes on tho talk about the disease as a silent epidemic. It supports my previous post/update on why we need more basic research on this organism. It is undeniable that the disease burden has increased over the last 20 years- and we have no idea why. The recent drought, at its most extreme in the San Joaquin Valley (the "Valley" in VF) could increase conidia (aka spores) in the air/soil...or not. We don't have a good handle on the organism's biology or natural host. So, no idea if the CA drought will increase VF. We also don't understand why SOME people have such severe cases of VF. Is it fungal pathogenicity or human susceptibility? Or both? Or is it just dosage? Again, NIH willing, I hope to answer some of these questions! From another recent article, "Diseases that don't have a high profile also struggle for funding. Consider this: In the past 12 years, the National Institutes of Health has granted valley fever just 4 percent of the research funding it has directed toward . But valley fever has afflicted about four times more people than West Nile, with thousands more going undiagnosed. Valley fever has killed many more people, too." After getting a really crappy comment on our recent grant "only 4000 people have died form the disease" it makes me a bit irritated that the funding is so skewed...