Valley Fever is never just a local concern. Even the global community is starting to take notice, as seen in this International Business Times article. Unlike the local physicians and articles that sometimes are dismissive of the disease or use terms that make it seem like no big deal, Divya Ramaswamy wrote an excellent article to summarize the current state of the Valley Fever problem for IBT’s readers.
Valley fever aka coccidiomycosis has risen nearly 75 percent in the past five years. It is a potentially fatal infectious respiratory disease caused due to the inhalation of the fungus coccidioides which is found in the soils of warm and dry regions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most of the cases were from Arizona and California though the fungus has been found in central Washington.
The fungus causes respiratory illnesses, but there is also a possibility for disseminated illness. Once the fungus reaches a person’s lungs, it transforms from strand-like into spherules, tiny balls that grow and spread inside the pulmonary tissues. About 40 percent of individuals who inhale the spores fall sick. Early symptoms include those of the flu such as cough, fever, chills and night sweats and therefore, valley fever usually goes misdiagnosed and untreated. However, In advanced cases, coccidiodes can be disseminated from the lungs to other parts of the body and give rise to skin lesions which can lead to limb loss.
Read the complete article at: CDC: Fatal Valley Fever Cases Rising Rapidly