The Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona has developed a reference booklet that includes all of the facts that physicians and other health-care professionals need about Valley Fever, including how to diagnose it and what to do when a new infection is discovered. While this information has existed for many years, it now is readily available so that busy clinicians can include it in their routine practice.
The booklet was made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Nielsen Biosciences Inc.
image003.png“This grant has enabled the Center to do something it long has hoped for,” said John Galgiani, MD, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence. “We have had this information available on our website but now we can distribute the information in a form that makes it readily available to busy clinicians. The booklet is small enough to fit in their lab coat.”
Published research has shown that many physicians do not know when to test for Valley Fever or what to do if a new infection is diagnosed. This is a special problem in Arizona where one out of three patients who are told they have “pneumonia” actually have Valley Fever and as a result receive medical care they may not need or have delays in appropriate care. An estimated 50,000 people a year seek medical care for their Valley Fever but fewer than 20,000 are accurately diagnosed.
“If doctors were more attuned to how common Valley Fever is, they would look for it more frequently,” Dr. Galgiani said. “Early diagnosis should reduce the use of antibiotics and lots of additional testing, none of which helps the patient and increases costs.”
The first printing of the booklet, completed in January, was 5,000 copies, enough for the Valley Fever Center to give a free copy to every medical student and medical resident (physician-in-training) in Arizona. Copies also are available through the Arizona Medical Association, the medical societies of Pima and Maricopa Counties, the Arizona Department of Health Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the future, the Valley Fever Center hopes to work with the CDC to revise the booklet so that it would be useful to physicians throughout the nation.
An electronic copy of the booklet also is posted on the Valley Fever Center for Excellence website at
Dr. John Galgiani Appointed a Clinical Adviser to HealthTell™
image005.pngJohn Galgiani, MD, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona, has been appointed a clinical adviser to HealthTell™, a Life Sciences company located in San Ramon, Calif., which is expanding its Immunosignature™ Technology for accurate and timely detection and monitoring of chronic diseases to include infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Galgiani, a tenured professor at the UA College of Medicine –Tucson, was appointed along with Chaim Putterman, MD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology and professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
In announcing the appointments, Bill Colston, PhD, CEO of HealthTell, said, “HealthTell is excited to welcome Dr. Galgiani and Dr. Putterman to our growing team of clinical advisers. They will provide valuable insights to expand our focus beyond oncology to infectious and autoimmune diseases. Our robust and unique test provides a snapshot of the immune system’s response to disease. We are grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate with clinicians and researchers of this caliber.”
“There certainly is a need for new diagnostics to help physicians manage patients with Valley Fever, especially early in the infection when current tests frequently are falsely negative,” said Dr. Galgiani.
Dr. Galgiani has 35 years of experience in medical mycology (the scientific study of fungi), including the soil-borne Coccidioides species of fungus that when inhaled causes Valley Fever, an infectious disease primarily of the lungs. Valley Fever is endemic to the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico, including Arizona and the San Joaquin Valley of California. While not a very prevalent disease, it results in an estimated 150,000 infections annually. Often it is confused with community-acquired pneumonia and treated erroneously with antibiotics. In a small percentage of patients it can be life threatening. Dr. Galgiani has devoted his career to raising awareness and improving outcomes for people affected by Valley Fever.