By April Laissle
Federal health officials say the state must take steps to reduce the outbreaks of Valley fever at its prisons. Their recommendations come after 30 inmates in California died from the illness since 2008.
The fungal infection is caused by spores in the soil and can cause fever, chest pain and swelling. Two Central Valley prisons, Avenal and Pleasant Valley, have had especially high rates of the disease. Last year, California officials agreed to transfer high-risk inmates from the two prisons.
Now, experts from the Centers for Disease Control suggest new inmates should be tested for immunity. They say susceptible inmates should not sent to the two Central Valley prisons.
Prison officials are reviewing the report.