By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The federal receiver who controls medical care in California's prisons is ordering thousands of high-risk inmates out of two Central Valley prisons in response to hundreds of hospitalizations and dozens of deaths due to valley fever.
Medical receiver J. Clark Kelso on Monday ordered the state corrections department to exclude black, Filipino and other medically risky inmates from the two prisons because they are more susceptible to the airborne fungal infection, which originates in the region's soil.
The receiver's office says the order will affect about 40 percent of the more than 8,200 inmates in Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons.
That creates problems for corrections officials who face a December court deadline to reduce overcrowding in prisons statewide.
The department says it is reviewing Kelso's order.
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