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Valley fever research eligible for new federal funding

June 11, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided to include the fungus that causes valley fever on a list of qualifying pathogens mandated by the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now, or GAIN, Act.

The law created incentives for the development of antibiotics to treat new and emerging drug-resistant bugs.

The FDA announced the formation of an internal Antibacterial Drug Development Task Force to work on the issue after President Obama signed GAIN into law in 2012.

Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis, is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides, which is common in the soil of the southwestern United States, especially in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Some people infected by the fungus merely suffer flu-like symptoms that pass, but in some patients valley fever is fatal or causes lifelong disability.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, co-chairs the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, which has been lobbying for more public research on valley fever.

Read the full article in The Bakersfield Californian.

Photo courtesy of Casey Christie / The Californian.