Coccidioides Exposure and Coccidioidomycosis among Prison Employees, California, United States - Volume 21, Number 6—June 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 21, Number 6—June 2015
Coccidioides Exposure and Coccidioidomycosis among Prison Employees, California, United States
Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley fever, is caused by inhalation of spores of the fungus Coccidioides,which grows in soil in semiarid areas. Coccidioidomycosis is endemic to the southwestern United States, the Central Valley of California, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America (1). An estimated 150,000 new infections occur annually in the United States (2). In disease-endemic areas, workers involved in soil disturbance, including agricultural, construction, and archeological workers, are at high risk for coccidioidomycosis (1).
As part of a health hazard evaluation requested by corrections agency management (3), we investigated the incidence of coccidioidomycosis among employees at 2 prisons in California’s Central Valley. To reduce exposure to Coccidioides, we recommended ways to improve coccidioidomycosis-related occupational health practices at the prisons.
Dr. de Perio is a medical officer and infectious diseases physician at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Her primary research interest is infectious diseases in the workplace.
We acknowledge Kimberly Brinker, Anne Purfield, Benjamin Park, Jennifer McNary, Jason Wilken, Alyssa Nguyen, Lauren Lee, Farzaneh Tabnak, Michael Maclean, and Robert Oldham for their assistance with this investigation. We also acknowledge the managers and employees at the prisons and corrections agencies for their cooperation and participation.
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Suggested citation for this article: de Perio MA, Niemeier RT, Burr GA. Coccidioides exposure and coccidioidomycosis among prison employees, California, United States. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jun [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2106.141201