Valley Fever cases are on the rise. If you are a construction company working in Central California (as far south as Ventura) and disturb the soil, your employees may be at risk to contract Valley Fever.
California Department of Public Health has great training materials. See Links in the CDPH newsletter below.
Valley Fever Training is required annually if your employees are exposed. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].
|Fire season brings more than smoke – Valley fever is still hot in parts of CA|
People who work outdoors in California’s Central Valley, Central Coast, and other nearby locations, especially workers who dig or disturb soil, are at risk for Valley fever, an illness that can cause disability or even death. In California, the number of reported Valley fever cases continues to be high in recent years.
In fall 2021, the CDPH Occupational Health Branch (OHB) and Infectious Diseases Branch investigated a cluster of Valley fever in a wildland firefighter crew that was linked to a three-day fire in central California, an area known for high rates of Valley fever. Three members of a 21-person fire crew were hospitalized with Valley fever. The firefighters who got sick reported heavy dust exposure while they were digging trenches and “mopping up” the fire, which included digging and moving soil to extinguish the fire.
Valley fever can affect people in different ways, but early diagnosis is important, especially because Valley fever can be severe for some. OHB recommends that wildland firefighters and firefighters responding to fires in the wildland-urban interface are trained on Valley fever and encouraged to report symptoms that could be Valley fever. This is equally important for workers in other outdoor settings where Valley fever is common.
Symptoms of Valley Fever
OHB has updated its tailgate training, Preventing Valley Fever in Wildland Firefighting, to get the word out. We encourage incident commanders and safety officers to include Valley fever as a hazard in their incident action plan safety analysis and to use the training to increase awareness and prevention efforts by all crew members.
August is Valley Fever Awareness Month: Please spread the word by sharing our prevention resources!
–Tailgate Training: Preventing Work-Related Valley Fever in Wildland Firefighting (PDF)
–Valley Fever: Tailgate Training Guide for California Construction Workers (PDF) | SpanishPreventing
–Work-Related Valley Fever – training, posters, factsheets, and more
–Could Be Valley Fever – CDPH webpages for the general public
–Valley Fever Data and Publications
|The Occupational Health Branch OHB improves California worker health and safety through prevention activities. We gather information on job hazards, test new approaches to prevent worker injury and illness, and help make changes in the workplace. Email [email protected] with feedback about this update or change of address.|