September 2, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California officials say it's premature to move more than 3,000 inmates out of two state prisons until more is known about an airborne fungus that is being blamed for nearly three-dozen inmate deaths.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed last week to study problems with valley fever at Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons.
The state said in a court filing Monday night that a federal judge should wait for the centers' recommendations before enforcing an order last week by the federal official who controls prison medical care.
The federal receiver says more black, Filipino and medically risky inmates have contracted the illness, and that has led to orders that the state exclude them from the prisons.
That would mean moving about 40 percent of the 8,200 inmates at the two prisons.
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