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Monday, Apr 29 2013 11:00 PM

Valley fever worries and valley prison transfers

By The Bakersfield Californian

There's logic in Monday's decision to transfer African-American, Filipino and HIV-infected inmates from Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons because they are especially susceptible to valley fever.

But what does that mean for inmates who don't fit those descriptions and therefore will be transferred into Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons in order to make room elsewhere? That can't be terribly exciting for them.

And what does it mean for ordinary residents of the southern San Joaquin Valley who, because of limited economic means, can't up and move to an area of the country where the fungal infection is less prevalent?

The transfer of about 3,280 inmates, ordered by the federal court official in charge of running the state's prison health care system, further underscores the need to develop effective treatments, including a vaccine, for this worrisome illness. When convicted criminals are being moved to more temperate climes for their own safety, it's definitely time to further ratchet up national attention on this issue.

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