Valley Fever Prevention Tips for Windy Conditions
Contact: Michelle Corson, Public Relations Officer, 661-868-0288
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 9, 2017
Bakersfield, CA – Kern County Public Health encourages residents to be aware of blowing dust and to take steps to protect yourself and your family from Valley Fever. A wind advisory has been issued for much of Kern County by the National Weather Service (NWS) Hanford until 11:00pm this evening.
Valley Fever is an infection caused by inhalation of spores of the fungus Coccidioides immitis (CI). The fungus is found naturally in the soil in many parts of Kern County and the southern San Joaquin Valley. When soil containing the fungus is disturbed, the dust produced may contain the spores, which may be inhaled into the lungs and may result in infection.
Recommendations that may help reduce the risk of getting Valley Fever, especially during dust storms or windy conditions, include:
• Stay inside and keep windows and doors closed.
• Avoid activities where a large amount of dust are generated.
• While driving, keep car windows shut and use “recirculating” air conditioning, if available.
• When working or playing in areas with open dirt, wet down soil before disturbing it to reduce dust.
• If you must be outdoors, consider wearing an N95 mask or respirator (available at drug and hardware stores).
For more information, visit www.kerncountyvalleyfever.com or call (661) 321-3000.