Doctors in the San Joaquin Valley have a new, fast way to help diagnose valley fever using a test developed in a Fresno hospital laboratory.
The new DNA test for the fungal disease -- a first in the state -- can provide results in five hours instead of the more than two weeks it now takes for a blood or culture test.
The sooner patients with valley fever can be diagnosed and receive treatment, the better, doctors say. The disease can spread from the lungs, causing meningitis and other problems, and can be fatal. There is no cure, but drugs can prevent the infection from growing.
Until now, doctors would order blood tests to confirm valley fever in patients. Positive antibody reactions meant samples would go to the University of California at Davis laboratory for confirmation tests. But the fungal culture test, which requires growing the organism, is now another option.
Read the full article in The Fresno Bee.
Photo couresty of Craig Kohlruss, The Fresno Bee