Valley Fever outbreak at California prisons

July 5, 2013

CMCshadowAn outbreak of Valley Fever at two California prisons prompted a federal judge on Tuesday to order the state to relocate thousands of prisoners to other facilities. [ABC]

State correctional officials have agreed to transport 2,600 at risk inmates including all black and Filipino prisoners to other California prisons. Inmates with compromised immunities or of specific heritages are several times more likely to contract the illness.

During the past three years, 900 of the 5,300 prisoners at California’s Pleasant Valley State Prison have contracted the disease. At Avenal prison, just 10 miles away, the numbers are similar. Officials report the fungus has played a role in at least 36 prison deaths over the past six years.

The evacuations are coming at a time California’s 33 adult prisons are at 150 percent capacity. To make space for the transports, healthy non-black or Filipino prisoners will be moved to the San Joaquin Valley.

Prison officials have voiced concerns that moving prisoners based on race could increase racial tensions and gang violence.

Most people who breathe in the spores develop no symptoms at all. Others, about 40 percent, develop flu-like symptoms including cough, congestion, fever, fatigue, body aches and headaches that can last a month or more. Valley Fever can lead to severe pneumonia, meningitis and death.

Cases of Valley Fever in California have skyrocketed in the past decade, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. Statewide, reported cases increased 71 percent from 2001 to 2011.

 


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9 Comments

  1. antonio says:

    What the state of California is doing is not only inhumane but illegal… Inmates at pleasant valley state prison and Avenal are in a severely toxic and potential dangerous environment… And all California is doing to relieve this lawsuit is getting rid of the African American inmates at those two prisons and replacing them with Hispanics Asians and whites this is not only discriminatory but totally inhumane all they are doing is putting more life’s in danger and spreading theatre disease… And California is claiming that they are transfering those inmates from those prisons but all they are really doing is replacing them with other healthy inmates spreading the cruel death sentence we need some prison rights activists to get involved in this matter… Because no one is perfect these inmates committed a mistake which they are paying for but shouldn’t be paying it with their life’s by catching a deadly and incurable disease… After all they are also human father’s brothers and sons….

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Well with realignment in effect why not just move them into our jails so we can spread the epidemic even further? Actually with realignment I am surprised this hasn’t shown up in our local jail populations!

    (-7) 15 Total Votes - 4 up - 11 down
    • Sarah Bellum says:

      It doesn’t spread from human to human, only through inhalation of the spores.

      (17) 17 Total Votes - 17 up - 0 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    Isn’t this a form of racial profiling?

    (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
    • Mr. Holly says:

      Great observation. It’s ok to profile for benefits but not for breaking the law.

      (5) 15 Total Votes - 10 up - 5 down
      • Slowerfaster says:

        What ‘benefits’ ?

        (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
        • Pelican1 says:

          Protection!

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
        • Mr. Holly says:

          Where have you been? How about education, jobs, welfare and just about anything else that is given away by the government?

          (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
    • ironyman2000 says:

      It is a form of racial profiling in that certain ethnic groups are prone to certain conditions (and it is
      proven that they are) this needs to be dealt with. I think of a black airman in my squadron who
      contracted sickle cell anemia. At that time his fellow soldiers turned out to support him.
      At this time it seems there are moronic knuckle-draggers too ignorant to get it.

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down

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