Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis or "cocci" for short) is an infection caused by Coccidioides immitis, a fungus somewhat like yeast or mildew that lives in the soil of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. In California, "cocci" predominates in the San Joaquin Valley. Since 2014, San Joaquin County has seen significant increases in reported cases of Valley Fever each year. The highest rates in San Joaquin County are in the Tracy area.
Valley Fever is a respiratory disease that can be devastating. Learning about Valley Fever can help you and your doctor recognize the symptoms early. The disease can be difficult to diagnose, especially if you are unaware of it. The best way to reduce the risk is to avoid breathing in dirt or dust in places where Valley Fever is common.
Keep Your Risk of Infection Low When it is windy and the air is dusty, especially during dust storms:
West Nile Virus (WNV) infection can cause serious disease. WNV is a seasonal health risk in California and San Joaquin County that flares up with the warm weather in late spring or summer and continues into the fall.
Birds are carriers of West Nile Virus; a mosquito becomes infected by biting an infected bird. Infected mosquitos can spread the virus to humans, horses, and birds. The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
Public Health Services (PHS) works to protect the public's health and promote a healthy future for all residents. The just released Annual Report for 2016 provides a snapshot of the work and services provided this past year. It reviews selected data and program information, highlights some successes and challenges, and mentions a few of the main issues to address during 2017.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has dramatically increased the revenue from Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), significantly lowered County costs, and expanded access to patients seeking services within the County health care system. Medicaid now provides health care coverage to 40% of San Joaquin County residents, nearly 300,000 individuals (2016 County population: 733,383). Of these enrollees, 73,773 became newly eligible under ACA Medicaid Expansion.
For San Joaquin General Hospital, San Joaquin County Clinics (the County Federally Qualified Health Centers -Look Alike) and San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services, the Medicaid Expansion (MCE) to childless adults has been the most significant and positive change of the ACA. This population had previously been uninsured and considered indigent under California statute. This population is typically very low income (under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level), homeless or housing insecure, and disconnected from preventive services or the health care system, accessing it only episodically - and most expensively – in hospital emergency departments, crisis mental health units, or in jail.
The expanded health care delivery infrastructure and population served by MCE is most in jeopardy with any repeal or (unknown) replacement of the ACA. If federal payments for this optional expansion are repealed and California ends or curtails this program, these enrollees would once again become uninsured.
Please see the following three documents which outline the impacts of the potential repeal of the ACA: