A Valley family is grieving after a young father died due to Valley Fever.
MESA, AZ – A Valley family is grieving after a young father died due to Valley Fever.
Loved ones say the common fungal infection killed the 32-year-old father in just two weeks.
“He always took care of me. Even up until the end,” said Franique Allen, Brian’s lifelong partner who he had been with for 13 years.
Their only child, Kal’el, was Brian’s pride and joy.
“[Kal’el] is taking it a little bit harder because Brian always took care of him. Even when I was in pharmacy school and had two jobs,” said Allen.
The family of three moved to the Valley in April to start a new life.
“As soon as he got the job here, he got sick.”
Less than five weeks after unpacking, the family’s world was forever changed.
“I guess he didn’t build up immunity,” said Allen. “He was working and he was caught in a dust storm and he inhaled the fungus in the air and it went to his lungs.”
VFS: This tragic story continues at ABC15’s site with further details but some misperceptions should be clarified from the text of the interview. People cannot “build up an immunity” to Valley Fever the way they might build up a tolerance to alcohol, as some people might imagine from the quotation. The fungus attacks the body when people inhale the spores. It becomes a debilitating or deadly disease when the immune system cannot recognize it, or the immune system acquires the ability to fight the disease to a greater or lesser degree. As in so many cases, Brian DeGeare was sadly not successful in this fight.
It is also sadly worth noting that people can be infected with Valley Fever as they enter the endemic area, as it did in DeGeare’s case. Even driving through endemic areas or changing planes in an airport could allow someone to inhale the wrong breath of air and be killed or feel the consequences for a lifetime.
For the complete article: Father contracts Valley Fever, dies weeks after moving to Arizona – ABC15 Arizona