A warning for residents in Arizona. Health officials are dealing with an increase in two major diseases, West Nile virus and Valley fever.
Health warnings tend to be useful. This news story discussed both West Nile Virus and Valley Fever in Arizona. The Valley Fever information includes this:
Here are some tips to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Take precaution and avoid valley fever
- Stay inside
- Do not breathe in dust
- Stay away from construction zones
- Be aware of your surroundings
“Avoid valley fever.” I’m not opposed to that! Unfortunately, the Coccidioides spores can be present even when dust is not visible. The microscopic spores can even go through ventilation systems so suggestions like “Take precaution and avoid valley fever,” “Stay inside,” and “Be aware of your surroundings” are as useful as the classic “duck and cover” drills children in the 1950’s learned in school to protect them from nuclear attack. A miner’s mask and homes with HEPA filters may be the best personal defense for those staying in risk areas.
The most effective personal precaution would be to leave Valley Fever’s endemic areas. That suggestion may not make local news stations popular with their viewers or advertisers.