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Reporting on Health Collaborative

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California’s tally of valley fever cases dropped by more than 1,000 last year and some counties have also seen fewer cases in the early months of 2013. But public health officials say it’s too early to identify long-term trends in the numbers.

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California's Attorney General has questioned the feasibility of the federal order to move more than 3,000 inmates especially vulnerable to valley fever from two Central Valley prisons.

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State and experts are now digesting the directive for California's Department of Corrections to remove inmates from two Central Valley prisons, who are especially at risk of contracting valley fever.

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Still, moving thousands of prisoners is a massive endeavor complicated by factors such as inmates’ security levels, and medical, mental health and rehabilitation needs.

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Over the last seven years, 40 California state prisoners have died with valley fever as either the primary or the secondary cause of death. For this reason, the prison system has been ordered to transfer at risk inmates from two facilities in endemic areas.

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The Reporting on Health Collaborative heard earlier this week that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, was going to meet with the head of the Centers for Disease Control and then issue a statement. Is that itself worth a story?

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Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-California) seeks to get funding for valley fever vaccine research and is working with the CDC to get a clinical trial to determine best treatment for the disease.

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The CDC's research on valley fever's impact in California and Arizona was both an unexpected validation of the Reporting on Health Collaborative's work and an encouragement to do more of the same.

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A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued last week, shows that the incidence of valley fever cases is up an astounding 850 percent over the past decade-plus.

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Journalists have a knack for pointing out problems. They rarely explain how to fix these problems. The message to readers is: the world is a mess. You figure out how to make it better. There is a growing movement among reporters to remedy this.

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