Global warming blamed for sickening solar workers in California

Valley Fever was discovered in 1892 and is endemic to the San Joaquin Valley.

The Washington Post reports:

California and federal public health officials say that valley fever, a potentially lethal but often misdiagnosed disease infecting more and more people across the nation, has been on the rise as a warming climate and drought have kicked up the dust that spreads it…

Long-standing concerns about valley fever were heightened last week when a federal health official ordered the transfer of more than 3,000 exceptionally vulnerable inmates from two San Joaquin Valley prisons where several dozen have died of the disease in recent years. A day later, state officials began investigating an outbreak in February that sickened 28 workers at two solar power plants under construction in San Luis Obispo County.

Read more at the WaPo.

Valley Fever was discovered in 1892.

7 thoughts on “Global warming blamed for sickening solar workers in California”

  1. Next we’ll be hearing that climate change causes haunta virus outbreaks because warm, wet weather encourages mice to breed. Is there nothing climate change doesn’t cause? (Besides rational thought?)

  2. Valley fever is endemic in the Phoenix area and it’s thought most people have it, although only a few are sickened by it. It is seldom fatal. But in summer, when the “Monsoon” winds cause large dust storms to roll into Phoenix from the south or east, there is practically no avoiding inhaling the dust and whatever’s in it.

  3. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/valley-fever/DS00695

    By Mayo Clinic staff

    Valley fever is a fungal infection caused by coccidioides (kok-sid-e-OY-deze) organisms. It can cause fever, chest pain and coughing, among other signs and symptoms.

    Two species of coccidioides fungi cause valley fever. These fungi are commonly found in the soil in specific areas and can be stirred into the air by anything that disrupts the soil, such as farming, construction and wind. The fungi can then be breathed into the lungs and cause valley fever, also known as acute coccidioidomycosis (kok-sid-e-oy-doh-my-KOH-sis).

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    It would seem that workers should have worn breathing protection.

    Are solar sites, like other environmentally approved activities, exempt from OSHA regulation?

  4. All along the Colorado River valley, at least in Arizona, they have found skeletal remains of ancient remains of natives with the tell-tale signs of Valley Fever.

  5. Valley fever may be endemic in the San Joaquin but it’s also common in other areas. I spent ten years in Tucson and we treated a lot of patients with coccidioidomycosis (hope I spelled that right). I doubt that working in the solar energy field in itself causes cocci, but a lot of the plants are in areas where cocci is well known.

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