Sinema, McCarthy, Schweikert Take Action to Fight Valley Fever

With a dramatic increase in Valley Fever cases this year, Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) helped introduce a bill to combat the disease and find effective treatments. Sinema worked across the aisle with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), and Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37) to introduce the FORWARD Act of 2018. 

“Whether it’s a neighbor, family member, or coworker, most Arizonans know someone who’s been affected by Valley Fever,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “The illness can leave someone unable to work, care for their kids, attend school, or worse. Our bill helps Arizonans by advancing research and moving us closer to finding effective treatments.”

Sinema, McCarthy, Schweikert and Bass’s bill supports new research and incentivizes the development of innovative treatments to fight the disease. Despite sickening thousands of Arizonans every year, including hundreds of hospitalizations and dozens of fatalities in 2016, relatively little is known about Valley Fever. Few effective, approved treatments exist for the disease, and there are no vaccines.

 Among other provisions, the bill:

  • Provides incentives to researchers working to find new treatments for Valley Fever;
  • Streamlines the approval and review process for new treatments of the disease;
  • Directs the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct research on Valley Fever and sets up a Valley Fever Advisory Committee to oversee the work; and
  • Establishes a grant program to facilitate Valley Fever research by universities, hospitals, and non-profits.