Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Federal study recommends inmate immunity test at 2 California prisons

By
From page A4 | July 26, 2014 |

SACRAMENTO — Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three dozen inmates, according to a report obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

A federal judge last fall ordered the state to move nearly 2,600 susceptible inmates out of Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons because of the deaths and illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the state go further by using hypersensitivity skin tests that could identify inmates who already were exposed to valley fever. Those inmates could thus safely be housed at the two state prisons near Fresno because they largely are immune to repeat infections.

The experts said that is a better option than the current practice of screening out black and Filipino inmates and others who statistically are more susceptible to the fungus, which grows naturally in the soil in the Central Valley and other dry locations such as Arizona and Mexico.

They project that system-wide testing would find 13 percent of the prison population is immune because the inmates previously were exposed.

Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal court-appointed receiver who controls prison medical care, said the office is reviewing the report.

Don Specter, director of the nonprofit Berkeley-based Prison Law Office, said the state should start testing inmates as soon as possible. His firm persuaded U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco to order vulnerable inmates removed from the two prisons last year.

Skin tests would sharply reduce the number of infections, the experts said.

About 5 percent of inmates at the two prisons would be expected to be infected annually if no steps were taken, according to the 52-page report. Using the skin tests would reduce that to about 2 percent, preventing a projected 268 cases each year.

With the commercially available skin test, approved this month by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, inmates would be injected with a noninfectious strain and evaluated 48 hours later.

Inmate would have the right to refuse to be tested, Hayhoe said.

The steps the state already has taken, including removing black and Filipino inmates, should reduce annual infections only slightly, preventing 44 infections annually, the experts projected.

At their peak in 2011, valley fever infections at the two prisons were up to 153 times higher than surrounding areas, researchers found. The two prisons combined to produce 83 percent of valley fever cases in the entire prison system, which includes about 135,500 inmates in 34 state prisons as well as private prisons in California and other states.

The same year, more than 20,000 cases were reported nationwide among the general population, most of them in Arizona and California.

Prison infections declined in 2012, but were still more than 20 times higher than among the general surrounding population. State officials say valley fever was killing six to nine inmates each year and costs the state more than $23 million annually to care for infected inmates and employees.

The fungus usually produces no symptoms, but in about 40 percent of cases it causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms or more serious infections. Valley fever can spread to the brain, bones, skin and eyes, leading to blindness, skin abscesses, lung failure and death.

A study released in February by the affiliated National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that valley fever killed three employees at the two prisons between January 2009 and June 2013 and sickened 103 other employees.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

.

US / World

 
Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 31 Comments

 
India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 2 Comments

Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9