Judge: Calif. must move inmates because of fungus

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Associated Press

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 24 at 9:04 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge is ordering the state to move several thousand inmates out of two California prisons because they are at a high risk of contracting a potentially deadly airborne fungus.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson on Monday ordered corrections officials to transfer most black, Filipino and medically at-risk inmates because they are more vulnerable to health problems from valley fever.

The fungal infection originates in the soil of the San Joaquin Valley, where Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons are located.

About 3,250 of the two prisons' 8,100 inmates fall into the categories covered by the judge's ruling.

Henderson gave the state 90 days to comply, but also said inmates who already have had the disease do not have to be moved.

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