‘A tipping point’: Arizona universities join forces to map the deadly Valley fever fungus
About two-thirds of the cases of the potentially fatal respiratory disease known as Valley Fever are typically contracted in Arizona — and about 80 percent of those cases are in Maricopa County, which includes the greater Phoenix area. Now there’s a major effort in motion to address the problem. Researchers from Arizona’s three state universities — including Fulton Schools faculty members and graduate students — are teaming up through the new Valley Fever Collaborative to find ways to suppress the spread of the disease. Miriam Woolley, a graduate research assistant in the civil, environmental and sustainable engineering program, is testing a spray application developed to form a protective layer over the surface of the earth to prevent dust from rising into the atmosphere and spreading the disease. The Valley Fever Collaborative is expected to build on work like that being done by Woolley and her team.