May 22, 2015
The average annual incidence of coccidioidomycosis among prison employees at two California prisons appeared higher than that of the general population in surrounding counties, according to recent findings.
Researchers examined employee rosters and the Confidential Morbidity Reports from the California Department of Public Health to identify confirmed cases of coccidioidomycosis — also known as desert or valley fever — among staff at two prisons between 2009 and 2013. Prison A employs approximately 1,300 custodial and support staff, and prison B employs roughly 1,500 custodial and support workers. During visits in 2013, researchers also surveyed a convenience sample of 172 employees across all job categories regarding their work habits and exposures, and they met with staff to discuss efforts toward dust reduction.