RISK FACTORS FOR CONTRACTING VALLEY FEVER
Risk factors for contracting Valley Fever
The fungal spores that cause Valley Fever are likely to be found in the soils of Central Valley, but there are several areas of California that the fungus can be found.
Assembly bill 203 mandates that employees who work in worksites where Valley Fever is highly endemic, have to have training on how to prevent exposure. These counties include Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura. An area has to have an annual incidence rate of Valley Fever that is greater than 20 cases per 100,000 persons per year to be considered highly endemic. “Worksites” include construction, work activities that are agriculturally related and operations at various ANR worksites.
The risk of getting Valley Fever increases in jobs where the soil is disturbed. Activity such as digging, grading or operations that move the earth, such as vehicles moving on dirt roads, causes the fungal spores to shift and move into the air. All workers who are on sites where the soil can get in the air by wind or other disruption are at an increased risk of becoming infected. While it is more common to find the fungus in dry, undisturbed soils compared to cultivated irrigated soil, any agricultural work in an area with Valley Fever is considered a risk.
TAP Series offers Valley Fever Training to not only train your employees on Valley Fever but document employee training in your TAP account. Course certificates can be reprinted anytime. The self-paced course allows your employees to train on their schedule and is available in English and Spanish. TAP’s system allows you to reenroll employees quickly for annual reviews or into new courses.