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Arizona’s Sinema, McSally introduce legislation to help fight Valley fever

(AP Photos/Matt York)

PHOENIX —  Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and McSally are among a group of Arizona and Californian representatives determined to find a cure for Valley fever.

The group introduced a piece of legislation Wednesday that aims to fight the infection.

“We need to take this seriously and ensure that resources are invested in the fight against this disease,” McSally said in a press release.

Sinema said they are committed to advancing research.

“Whether it’s a neighbor, family member, or coworker, most Arizonans know someone who’s been affected by Valley fever,” Sinema said in the press release.

The Finding Orphan-disease Remedies with Antifungal Research and Development (FORWARD) Act was introduced by Sinema and McSally, the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force Co-Chairs Arizona Rep. David Schweikert and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Arizona Rep. Greg Stanton and California Rep. Karen Bass.

Almost two-thirds of the people who get Valley fever live in Arizona, according to the press release from McSally’s office.

The infection, caused by inhaling fungal spores, is often found in southwestern states, Mexico, Central America and Southern America — though recently also in south-central Washington, according to Homeland Prep News.

The severity of Valley fever can differ significantly case by case, according to the University of Arizona.

A study from the university showed 60 percent of people who are infected experience mild symptoms but do not realize they have the sickness and never see a doctor.

For others, symptoms can last longer than a year — and for some, it can be fatal, according to the University of Michigan.

There is no cure for Valley fever.

The legislation aims to provide short- and long-term solutions such as treatments and vaccines while increasing public awareness.

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