Valley Fever

Valley Fever is an infectious disease caused by a fungus that lives in the soil and dirt in many parts of California. San Luis Obispo County has one of the highest rates of Valley Fever infection in the State. According to California Department of Public Health (CDPH), if you breathe in the fungus from dust in the air, it can affect your lungs. You will experience Valley fever symptoms such as cough, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing. People who are affected usually get symptoms in one to three weeks after breathing the fungus.

A new law was passed in California requiring workers who disturb soil as part of their work to receive awareness training on Valley Fever. The legislation references the use of existing training from CDPH Valley Fever Worker Training Guideline (see below) to inform workers of the hazard and provide control measures to reduce risk of infection. If you disturb soil as part of your work, please complete the awareness training below and return the completed form to your Learning Hub Training Administrator or EHS for credit.

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for assuring a safe workplace at Cal Poly. There are many parts across California that contains Valley fever, EHS is working on providing a learning hub curriculum on valley fever to keep staffs, faculty safe use proper work practice when working with soil disturbance.

If you think you have Valley fever or possibly disturb soil whether it may or may not have Valley Fever, contact your supervisor and complete a first report of injury form on the EHS website. . For questions or more information, contact Christina Juarez, EHS Supervisor at x6674 or cdjuarez@calpoly.edu.

Resources:

  • Valley Fever Worker Training Guideline
  • Tips to prevent Valley Fever
  • Protection from Valley Fever