Congressman McCarthy today announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden and leading CDC mycotics disease experts have accepted his invitation to come to Bakersfield to meet with public health officials and leading local advocates to increase awareness among clinicians and the community regarding Valley Fever and to initiate a Valley Fever public awareness campaign within the community:
"I am proud that our community, from the Valley Fever Americas Foundation to the Kern County Public Health Laboratory, continues to lead the effort to fight Valley Fever. Dr. Frieden's visit to Bakersfield demonstrates his commitment to prioritizing Valley Fever within the CDC, coordinating with local Valley Fever experts on developing preventative measures, and working with our community to raise public awareness on Valley Fever in the battle against this disease. As residents of the Central Valley, we know the impact Valley Fever can have on family and friends, and that is why I am committed to elevating the importance Valley Fever at the federal level and to working with CDC and local experts. CDC's public health leadership on Valley Fever is an important first step in this process."
Dr. Thomas Frieden:
"I appreciate Rep. McCarthy taking the time to visit CDC to learn about our laboratories and assets that are uniquely capable to deal with leading public health challenges. I am impressed with the commitment he has shown in pursuing a deep understanding of Valley Fever that has been such a serious and costly disease in his district and throughout the southwestern US. His attention to the issue is helping to raise critical awareness of the infection, therefore improving prevention and screening. I look forward to visiting California to further explore how public health interventions can prevent and fight this disease."
FYI: This announcement comes following Congressman McCarthy's tour of CDC headquarters and meetings with CDC mycotic diseases experts on Valley Fever today, April 22nd. Congressman McCarthy previously met with Dr. Frieden in Washington in March regarding Valley Fever's impact on local Central Valley communities, and has been working with Valley Fever Americas Foundation President Mike Cooper, Kern County Public Health Laboratory Director Mike Lancaster, former Valley Fever Vaccine Project of the Americas Director Sandra Larson, and other community leaders in Bakersfield to combat Valley Fever, raise awareness, and ultimately one day have a Valley Fever vaccine.