Valley Fever In the Central Valley

Valley fever is considered, by most people in the health industry, a silent epidemic because the spread of the disease is not clearly detected. Most people who might have the disease show no symptoms or display symptoms that are identical to other diseases like the flu, pneumonia, and sometimes even as cancer. Valley fever has become an increasing problem in the US, but namely in the Central Valley. The main behaviors contributing to the rising valley fever problem in the Central Valley include not enough groups raising awareness in the community about the disease and misdiagnosis from health care professionals.So what is valley fever? Valley fever is a fungal disease caused by the soil-dwelling fungus called Coccidioides immitis. The fungus prefers to reside within hot, dry, and dusty regions and is therefore prominent in the Central Valley. It is saprobic in soil, meaning that it will eat dead matter, and it becomes parasitic once it enters the body. The fungus tends to be located in rodent burrows. It is not known why exactly but it is theorized that this is because desert rodents are resistant carriers of the pathogen and are able to spread the spores of the fungus throughout the burrows and the fungus is able to live off the rodents’ excrements. When the rodents die, the fungus can then colonize in their body, use it as food, and also utilize the body as a source for the spreading of spores. Normally, these fungal spores can be inhaled through dust when soil is disturbed and will settle within the lungs where they then transform into larger, multicellular structures called spherules. Spherules leech off the nutrients in the lungs and grow until they burst, releasing more spores. These spores repeat the process, causing the fungus to vastly multiply within the lungs. This multiplication may lead to spreading of the spores outside of the lungs and throughout the skin, bones and the membranes surrounding the brain, causing meningitis. When the fungus spreads outside of the lungs, it is known as disseminated valley fever.There are certain groups of people in the Central Valley who are more severely afflicted by valley fever. This includes individuals 23 to 55 years of age, people who work outside in the fields or at construction sites and definitely field workers who speak little English. Hispanic farm workers are greatly affected due to lack of awareness and resources. This is a grand problem because the Central Valley has a vast population of field workers who are Hispanic with limited English capability. This dilemma causes structural violence because the poor immigrant field workers lack awareness of the disease and their employers do not provide them with the proper protective gear and information, putting the field workers in high risk conditions. Employers themselves may not know or are simply trying to save money. However, the groups of people most likely to develop disseminated valley fever are African Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Studies on lab mice has shown that overexpression of the cytokine IL-10, a cytokine responsible in suppressing hyperactive immune responses in the body, led to mice who got injected the disease to acquire disseminated valley fever. Humans also express IL-10 so it is speculated that African Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders may produce a lot of IL-10, allowing the fungus to proliferate in their bodies while remaining undetected by the immune system.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Research evidence shows 111,717 reported cases in the US between 1998 – 2011. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 150,000 cases of valley fever go unreported each year due to lack of awareness. California Department of Public Health reported 4,094 valley fever cases in California in 2012. Over 75% of valley fever cases from California come from the people who live in the Central Valley. Just recently, 3,000 prisoners in San Joaquin Valley had to be transferred due to risk of valley fever after some other inmates contracted the disease, indicating the possibility of the fungus harboring close to the jail.There are certain current behaviors in the Central Valley that have led to the valley fever becoming such a big problem. At the individual level, workers find it easy and a convenience to not use proper masks when working outside in areas with coccidioidomycosis (scientific name of valley fever) spores. At the organizational level, organizations like the United Farm Workers have not been able to fight hard enough to come to agreement with farmers to provide proper protection for their workers. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District also does not have enough restrictions established on how much farmers are allowed to disrupt soil, which does not set a limit to the amount of coccidioidomycosis spores released. Regulating this would help prevent and lower cases of Valley Fever. A major behavioral problem is that healthcare providers are not knowledgeable about the disease thus leading to many misdiagnoses.Consequences that can be used to ensure that workers use protection when working outside is to have a system put in place where they can be fired or punished by their employer if they are caught not wearing a mask. In order to get organizations like United Farm Workers to petition for more change on protection against coccidioidomycosis spores is to have all the workers in the union stop funding them if they do not represent their worries of valley fever. The consequence that could be given to The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District would be to cut their funding by a certain percentage if they do not reduce valley fever in the Central Valley. Healthcare providers will be given a positive consequence like a bonus for correct diagnosis or a subtraction from their pay if they misdiagnose.A solution to dealing with valley fever would be to modify clinician behavior to make mandatory blood tests for patients who display one or more valley fever symptoms. Diagnosis of valley fever is difficult based on symptoms alone due to vague characteristics. Symptoms of valley fever include fever, cough, chest pain, chills, night sweats, headache, fatigue, joint aches, and red-spotty rashes. This often leads to valley fever being mistaken for the flu due to the flu-like symptoms associated with it. In light of this dilemma, valley fever should be diagnosed through mandatory blood tests to check if the patients has valley ever by looking for antibodies present in their blood that fight against the fungus. The goal of this solution is to perform a proper and timely diagnosis that will get rid of the faulty behavior of valley fever misdiagnosis. This will allow for collaboration between patients, health care providers, and insurance companies. The consequence will result in an annual bonus incentive program for clinics where compliance will be reported through attestation from the patient. This will include a 10% bonus to health care providers for proper procedures and a 1% penalty for improper procedures. The funding source will be provided by insurance companies.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
This solution will be effective and observable because doctors will get the incentive to properly diagnose valley fever every year. No other incentive program for valley fever has been tried before. The incentive program would be rather inexpensive because the money for the incentive will be reciprocated from the money saved by insurance company. It will also be decentralized since the program can definitely be applied to smaller scales communities such as those in Central Valley where insurance companies usually pay for all the medical bills. The program is flexible because incentives can be adjusted according to area it is being implemented in. The solution will remain sustainable because the funding comes from the money saved from all the misdiagnosis on a yearly basis. The solution is simple to implement since insurance companies already have all the records of all the procedures done on the patients and it is definitely compatible with the value of the target users because doctors value their reputation in giving the correct diagnosis and the incentive programs will give them the push they need.Other possible solutions are to have people in endemic areas to wear powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These masks reduce the average spore concentration to 1/1000 of the ambient air concentration, reducing risk of valley fever infection to around 0.17% due to a battery-powered blower that pulls air in through filters to clean it before delivering it to the wearer’s breathing zone. People living in the central valley can also limit outdoor activity in dusty areas and water down construction sites before disrupting the soil in order to avoid the spreading of spore-containing dust. Dusty clothing should also be removed prior to entering home environment. Research has shown that the drug nikkomycin Z inhibits the enzyme responsible for the formation of chitin, the building block of the fungal cell wall. So far this drug has tested successful in mice inoculated with valley fever in which the disease was halted and mice survived. These results have made nikkomycin Z a favorable candidate for battling the valley fever epidemic in the Central Valley.

Fresno Roofing Contractors – Finding the Best Roof Repair Company in Central Valley California

Fresno Roofing Contractors are professionals in the Central Valley of California that want to help you repair or install your roof. There are many components involved in a complicated process like this, which is why it’s a good idea to get the professionals to do it. This is not a “Do it Yourself” project that you should try to undertake, even if you consider yourself fairly competent at construction. Not only is the job extremely important, it can be very dangerous, even for those that do know what they’re doing. In other words, if you’re not an expert (and you probably aren’t, if you’re reading this) you need to call the experts.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Now, there are some things that you can learn to educate yourself a little bit, so keep reading. For example, it helps to know what kind of material makes up your roof. Common materials include tile shingles, wood, metal, or different composites. Whichever you have (or want) will affect the overall price, so keep that in mind.You also need to make sure that the contractor is adept at your type of application. In other words, if you need work on a home, they should provide residential services. In the same way, if you need work done on a commercial or industrial building, they should be qualified for that kind of work. If they don’t have the capacity to do large buildings and that’s what you need, you need to find another professional. Of course, if they’re an extremely large company that only services commercial areas, they likely won’t spend time on your home.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
It’s a good idea to have them check out the insulation as well. While some Fresno roofing contractor will do this as part of their service, some will not. It’s always a great idea though, to make sure there are not leaks or anything of the sort. If you don’t do this, you will inevitably have to deal with it later on in life. That’s not a fun time, so watch out for it.

Hardpan in the Central Valley – Its Effect on Groundwater Model

Hardpan exists on many type of soil but the challenging one is the red or brownish red hardpan of the San Joaquin soil series. The depth of this hardpan varies within 6 inches to 6 foot of the surface. The hardpan is composed of a mass of soil grains firmly cemented by iron-silica, and is so dense that it could only be broken by blasting. This impervious layer serves as a barrier to water percolating down from the surface.- The origin of hardpanHardpan can be found in area with semiarid to subhumid Mediterranean climate type, as in the Central Valley (the summer half of the year is hot and dry and the winter half is cool). Average annual precipitation ranges from 5 to 16 inches in the San Joaquin Valley. About 85 percent of the annual precipitation occurs in the six months from November to April. Summers are hot, and winters are moderate (Williamson et. al., 1985). The mean January temperature varies between 45 and 52F. Many days during July, August, and September are having a maximum temperature as high as 110F. The mean annual temperature is 56 to 63F. (Harradine, 1963).

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Harradine (1963) hypothesized the genesis of this iron-silica hardpan. During the early spring months chemical and biological activity is favored by a warming soil and the moisture from the late rains. This promotes the release of bases, the solution of silica and sesquioxides, and their general movement downward in the profile. As the soil is rapidly dried during late spring, iron and silica are irreversibly precipitated and a small increment of the less permeable subsoil gradually becomes cemented. Also, subsoil stratification gives a perched moisture condition and thus determines the depth of hardpan formation. In summary, existence of hardpan shows that on this type of soil (loam) and climate (Mediterranean type), the infiltration after precipitation does not percolate further down to aquifer. Because of the high temperature, the infiltrated water would evaporate early on before reaching the groundwater table.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
This impervious hardpan, 1 to 6 feet in depth, is a barrier for any infiltration that follows the precipitation on the surface. Thus, in calculating a water balance, no recharge to groundwater from precipitation should be included on areas covered by iron-silica hardpan. Otherwise it would overestimate the recharge. In the City of Fresno, this hardpan of the San Joaquin series prevents the percolation of nitrate to groundwater (Schmidt, 1972).

College Valley – Northumberland’s Hidden Gem

The Cheviot hills are the highest mountains in the north east of England and are formed around the remains of an ancient volcano. The most northerly of these is the College Valley and you won’t find any signs or directions for it. This is a truly hidden valley.There is only one way in and despite being one of the most beautiful places in Northumberland there are no tourist signposts.The Valley has been owned by College Valley Estates since 1953 and it is managed and looked after in a way which ensures that you can walk through the valley and imagine what it was like 4,000 years ago.History in the valley.There is a neolithic stone circle along the valley floor as well as iron age hill forts along some of the summits.
There are the remains of settlements dating back to Roman times visible along the hill sides.During the 18th and 19th centuries the Valley was owned by Lord Collingwood who was at Trafalgar with Nelson. He planted acorns along one of the valley hills and you can see the oak trees which have grown since his time.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Shortly after the first world war the Valley was acquired by Sir Arthur Sutherland who also owned Dunstanburgh Castle on the coast.During the WW2 there were quite a few plane crashes over the Cheviot hills, both allied and axis planes being involved. There is a monument to the people who lost their lives here and on a ridge near the Cheviot you can still find some remains from a flying fortress.Walking in the Valley.With over 12,000 acres and 100 kms of roads, paths and forest trails there are plenty of ways to explore the Valley. The Pennine way follows the border ridge with Scotland along the north west side of the Valley. Saint Cuthbert’s way also runs through the Valley as it travels from Melrose to Lindisfarne.Environment in the Valley.Farming is predominantly sheep based with the occasional introduction of cattle. There is virtually no use of fertilisers within the Valley and the streams and hill sides are clean and pollution free. With wind direction either from the coast ( north sea) or blowing in from the Scottish borders there is also minimal air pollution.Access to the Valley.There is only one road in and no other way out. The road up the central valley is privately owned and vehicular access is restricted to twelve per day on the payment of a small fee. Whilst cars are restricted walkers, bikers and horse riders are encouraged.Holidays in the Valley.Bringing your dog(s).There are four separate self catering holiday cottages. Dunsdale house is the highest of these and is followed by Coldburn cottage, The Old School and Hethpool Mill. All cottages have been renovated to high standards and offer a good standard of accommodation. Dogs are permitted in each cottage and the owners do not place a limit on the size or number of pets you bring. There are kennels outside each cottage and Coldburn has an enclosed garden.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Outside the ValleyThe College Valley is approximately 20 miles from the golden sands of the Northumberland Coast. Nearer by there are National Trust properties such as Cragside. The castle and gardens at Alnwick are also very popular.The coast is an area of outstanding natural beauty and small ports like Alnmouth and Amble offer great opportunities to stroll along the beach and then relax in a warm pub.Further reading.Google knol article on the Valley.

Oaxaca Mezcal Producers Court Sociedad De Mezcaleros on Central Valleys Visit

Over the past two years, mezcal’s star has reached new heights with each passing month. The incidence of its Oaxaca producers and exporters, acting upon knowledge of the pending arrival onto their turf of American and Canadian mezcal aficionados and connoisseurs, has been nothing short of remarkable, at times droll.Bartenders, Bar Owners Included in Sociedad de Mezcaleros Tour of OaxacaIn March, 2013, the secretive Sociedad de Mezcaleros embarked upon a major sojourn into the heart of Mexico’s agave producing country, a region so climatically suited to the growing of maguey, that some of Jalisco’s tequila producers have stepped up their pirating ways in trucking off multi-ton trailer loads of Oaxacan piñas.The first wave of mezcal aficionados to arrive for the tour was an entourage of bartenders and bar owners, closely followed by architects, journalists, photographers, and those whose mere curiosity about the Sociedad had been too hard to resist. Almost all of the Sociedad members had hailed from the American northwest, an area of the U.S. which, judging from the interest generated in the community of mezcal producers and their marketing arms, will soon overtake New York City as the country’s spirits and cocktails trendsetter. In fact, La Carta de Oaxaca and Mezcalería Oaxaca, both based in Seattle, have been at forefront, doing more than their fair share.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Oaxaca Mezcaleros Come a CourtingNo less than six stakeholders, part-owners of an up-and-coming brand of the beverage, swooped down on Oaxaca, coming from their homes and offices in diverse corners of both Mexico and the U.S., to converge upon their new found land of gold, to meet, greet and court. Now to be fair, a specific date had earlier been set for a visit to their palenque. But they otherwise spared no late night energy in tracking down the spirits aficionados and imbibing with them, each to his fullest capacity. Whatever food and watering hole the Sociedad recommended to its flock, the mezcaleros were sure to follow.——————————A recent trend in not only Oaxaca, but also in other Mexican states, has been the emergence of young attractive women on the mezcal scene. Some are distillery employees hired to market, promote and ultimately sell. Others, and not to take away from their sometimes involvement in day-to-day distillery operations, are front (wo)men, members of families which have either been palenqeros, or have invested in the purchase of an existing mezcal operation. Using sex to sell alcohol is not the exclusive right of breweries.Now once the group had had an opportunity to personally meet Mademoiselle X at her family’s palenque, it didn’t take long for them to begin texting her, advising of their whereabouts for the duration of their visit, and suggesting a further rendezvous or two – notwithstanding that at least for this tour member it quickly became obvious that Mademoiselle X was not the one to consult with questions of a technical nature relating to mezcal, its production and its sale. To her credit she readily acknowledged that she was a novice, with a lot to learn. But the señorita tan güapa was up to the task at hand, and she both fit and fulfilled her job description to a tee.——————————Señor Y was in a different category, and while wooing was no doubt part of the game plan, he played his cards well, coming across as and indeed being more of an educator and genuine host than a wolf pouncing on easy prey. He, as was the case with our distillery conglomerate, had previously booked a date with the group. But Señor Y managed to finesse a way to not only extend contact with the barmen and the rest, but also set up a meeting with Mr. Journalist and Master photographer / videographer, a brilliant and calculating move which will likely pay off in spades, much more so than how the Group of Six and Mademoiselle X approached a marketing opportunity.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
More Diverse Activities of Sociedad de Mezcaleros in Oaxaca than Exposure to ExportersThe Sociedad de Mezcaleros is a living organism, continuously changing through adaptation, meeting the needs and desires of a growing and thus increasingly diverse interest group. On earlier excursions the focus was largely exploratory. This new itinerary was not entirely void of some of those past exceptional experiences: revisiting memorable distilleries with a view to rekindling acquaintanceships with their colorful palenqueros; relaxing at and enjoy the higher end fare of well-known downtown Oaxacan restaurants; fulfilling the yearnings for a return to favorite roadside eateries; and of course showcasing emerging adventures.The March, 2013, tour of Oaxaca by those intrigued with the Sociedad de Mezcaleros, succeeded in delving yet further into the related worlds of agave and mezcal, both directly and indirectly, nevertheless leaving a plethora of avenues unexplored. As Sociedad presidente cryptically concluded in his trademark fashion, “you bet we have much more in store for both neophytes and seasoned mezcalytes alike, but those details are for another discussion; and don’t forget those producers who didn’t get their hands on our group this time.”