“Experts” Continuing to Blame Rise in Valley Fever Cases on #ClimateCrisis Pseudoscience

LI 82 Valley Fever

by Leslie Eastman at legalinsurrection.com

Valley Fever is a fungal disease. Fortunately, a novel and effective new treatment targeting fungi has emerged.

Back in 2019, way before the covid pandemic, I reported on a potentially life-threatening fungal illness rapidly spreading throughout central California and blamed it on….climate change! I crunched the numbers and concluded:

I will just point out that between the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and our former governor’s race to embrace the Paris Climate Accord, the state’s climate should be preventing such catastrophes.

Hopefully, the researchers will find a cure quickly, as climate solutions to this problem will not be nearly as effective as medical ones.

Clearly, most normal people continue the summers to be hot and the winters cold as they go about their lives. As the recent terror over “global boiling” hasn’t sparked enough fear, Valley Fever cases are back in the news.

More than 500,000 Americans could be sickened each year by Valley fever, the disease caused by breathing in the fungus Coccidioides, according to preliminary estimates developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The draft figures, which were disclosed in a CDC presentation to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, suggest the toll inflicted on Americans by the fungus could be more than triple the size of widely cited previous estimates.

“There’s just not a ton of awareness or knowledge about the disease. We do see a lot of travel associated cases, we’ve seen reports of cases popping up in places where we wouldn’t have typically expected Valley fever to be endemic,” Samantha Williams, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, told CBS News.

Williams is part of the team that has been refining these forthcoming estimates of cases of Valley fever, which scientists call Coccidioidomycosis. It is one of a range of new projects aimed at ramping up the agency’s response to the illness, which primarily occurs in the Southwest, from California to central Texas.

Back in California, public health officials are blaming the uptick on too much rain…which broke the back of the recent drought cycle in this state.

“California’s dry conditions, combined with recent heavy winter rains could result in increasing valley fever cases in the coming months,” California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Tomás Aragón said in a news release.

During a drought, the fungus that causes valley fever often is less active, but it grows once the rains return, according to the Department of Public Health. Valley fever cases have been lowest during drought and highest in the years immediately following a drought, raising concerns for this summer and fall after the record-breaking rain that hit California.

No matter how much climate-angst is expressed and how many economy-crushing, liberty-limiting policies are enacted, lifeforms like fungi have a tendency to adapt and persevere. That is why I asserted the better bet would be the focus on medical treatment.

Now, a novel and effective new treatment targeting fungi has emerged.

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Research Science (CSRS) and the University of Toronto have discovered an innovative way to combat fungal infections.

This method revolves around obstructing the fungi’s ability to produce fatty acids, a primary component of fats.

With resistance to anti-fungal drugs increasing, this new tactic, which works differently and is effective against a wide range of fungal species, could prove particularly beneficial. The study was published in the scientific journal Cell Chemical Biology.

Most people are familiar with athlete’s foot, a relatively benign health issue easily resolved with a trip to the drugstore. However, other fungal infections, caused by Candida, Cryptococcus, and Aspergillus types of fungi, are far more serious. In fact, these fungi are responsible for millions of deaths every year. Like bacteria’s growing resistance to antibiotics, resistance to anti-fungal medications is also on the rise globally. Consequently, the death toll is likely to increase in the foreseeable future without immediate intervention.

I wonder how much farther along we might be on finding effective treatments against fungi if billions weren’t diverted to fight a coronavirus that mainly causes cold-and-flue symptoms in individuals not suffering from comorbidities.

Most people who inhale Coccidioidomycosis, the fungus causing Valley Fever, have no symptoms. Many others purge it from their bodies without treatment after suffering mild respiratory symptoms. However, it can cause serious health effects in some individuals.

Approximately 5 to 10% of people who get Valley fever will develop serious or long-term problems in their lungs.4 In an even smaller percent of people (about 1%), the infection spreads from the lungs to other parts of the body, such as the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), skin, or bones and joints.

It might be nice if the media directed some of the climate panics toward promoting good science and effective research. Perhaps we would have had more treatment options available and fewer cases.

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