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Volume 21, Number 11—November 2015


Coccidioidomycosis among Workers Constructing Solar Power Farms, California, USA, 2011–2014

Jason A. WilkenComments to Author , Gail Sondermeyer, Dennis Shusterman, Jennifer McNary, Duc Vugia, Ann McDowell, Penny Borenstein, Debra Gilliss, Benedict Ancock, Janice Prudhomme1, Deborah Gold, Gayle C. Windham, Lauren Lee, and Barbara L. Materna
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (J.A. Wilken); California Department of Public Health, Richmond, California, USA (J.A. Wilken, G. Sondermeyer, D. Shusterman, J. McNary, D.J. Vugia, D. Gilliss, B. Ancock, G.C. Windham, L. Lee, B.L. Materna); County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, San Luis Obispo, California, USA (A. McDowell, P. Borenstein); California Department of Industrial Relations, Oakland, California, USA (J. Prudhomme, D. Gold)

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Table 3

Potential worksite Coccidioides exposures and use of control measures during 4 weeks before symptom onset by workers at 2 solar power–generating facilities, San Luis Obispo County, California, USA, October 2011–April 2014*

No. (%)
Don’t know
Work duties involved, n = 43†
  Manual digging 12 (28) 31 (72) 0
  Working in a ditch or trench 19 (44) 24 (56) 0
  Operating heavy machinery‡ 8 (19) 35 (81) 0
  Any of the above
25 (58)
18 (42)
High dust levels, n = 42†
39 (93)
3 (7)
Used a respirator, n = 41§¶
10 (24)
31 (76)
At the end of work, did you†
  Drive home in work clothes, n = 41 31 (76) 9 (22) 1 (2)
  Wash up before leaving work, n = 39 19 (49) 20 (51) 0
  Shower immediately after getting home, n = 41 34 (83) 5 (12) 2 (5)

*Of the 44 patients, 43 were interviewed and 41 completed the interview. Some patients did not answer certain questions.
†Frequently includes the responses of “every day” and “once a week”; infrequently includes the responses of “rarely” and “never.”
‡One of 8 worked with heavy equipment with an enclosed cab and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)–filtered air-conditioning every day.
§Frequently includes the responses of “always” and “often”; infrequently includes the responses of “sometimes,” “rarely,” and “never.”
¶Does not include 1 employee who reported operating heavy equipment with an enclosed cab and HEPA-filtered air-conditioning every day.

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1Current affiliation: California Department of Public Health, Richmond, California, USA.