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McCarthy, Schweikert Lead Letter Supporting Proposed NIH Valley Fever Research Centers

Today, Representatives Kevin McCarthy and David Schweikert (AZ-06), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, led a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, in support of the NIH’s proposed and continued efforts to better research Coccidioidomycosis, more commonly known as Valley Fever. 

Excerpts of the letter are below, or you can read it in its entirety here:

“[W]ith the number of Valley Fever cases continuing to increase in recent years, combined with several University of California, San Francisco researchers estimating the total lifetime burden of Valley Fever cases in 2017 to be just shy of $700 million, we offer our strong support for this concept to move forward with appropriate funding to establish Valley Fever collaborative research centers. 

“As members of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, who represent some of the hotspots of Valley Fever in the American Southwest, we applaud these efforts, particularly since Valley Fever presents pneumonia-like symptoms that are similar to those of the novel coronavirus, which can result in misdiagnosis of both diseases and lead to improper treatment regimens. This makes the Valley Fever concept even more timely and important.”

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Background:

On August 20, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public Valley Fever workshop – at the request of Reps. McCarthy and Schweikert – that brought together experts to discuss trial design and best practices for antifungal drug and vaccine development. 

Section 4 of McCarthy and Schweikert’s bill, the FORWARD Act (H.R. 2858), would direct the FDA to hold public workshops on Valley Fever drug and vaccine development and issue a Guidance for Industry document to help with the development of such treatments.

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