Valley Fever Awareness Week
October 1st - 5th
In celebrating Valley Fever awareness this week, I wanted to provide a recap of the past two months which have been heavily focused on Valley Fever research. As a member of the Arizona delegation and co-chair of the Valley Fever Task Force, this issue is at the forefront of my priority list.
The statistics below show the effect of the endemic disease on Arizonans. Valley Fever occurrences continue to be on the rise with over two-thirds of reported cases in Arizona.
The FORWARD Act
This July, I joined Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as co-chairs of the Valley Fever Task Force, to introduce H.R. 6562, the Finding Orphan-disease Remedies With Antifungal Research and Development (FORWARD) Act. The FORWARD Act is designed to strength endemic fungal disease research and help bring new fungal diagnostics, antifungal treatments, and eventually a fungal vaccine to patients.
This legislation also represents a breakthrough for medical research; Section 9 of the FORWARD Act establishes a blockchain pilot to ensure Valley Fever researchers have access to robust clinical data without compromising patient privacy.
The graphic below provides a concise description of how the pilot will operate, ensuring data accessibility and security. I am proud to sponsor this legislation, which will support Arizona and other states in their continued efforts to fight endemic fungal diseases, including Valley Fever!