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California doctors speed up Valley fever diagnosis

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Doctors in California say they've found a quicker way to diagnose patients with the fungal disease Valley fever.

Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno is now offering a DNA test that can identify the disease in five hours rather than waiting more than two weeks for the results of blood tests.

There's still no cure, but doctors say with early detection they can keep symptoms from spreading.

The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/OO1zjo) that doctors still use the time-consuming blood tests to confirm the results of the new approach, but the DNA testing is proving to be accurate.

Valley fever is prevalent in the Central Valley and Arizona and can be deadly. It can bring on fever, chest pain, coughing and other symptoms and can lead to death.

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Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com

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