Things to Know About Valley Fever Fungal Infection
Coccidioidomycosis, another name for valley fever, is an infection brought on by the fungus.
When exposed to the fungus Coccidioides, many people never experience any symptoms.
Some individuals could experience symptoms that go away on their own after a few weeks or months.
It may manifest as signs and symptoms such a fever, cough, and fatigue.
Valley fever is brought on by two types of coccidioides fungus. In some areas, these fungi are frequently found in the soil.
According to the California Department of Public Health, 97% of all Valley fever cases in the United States are documented in Arizona and California. The fungus is indigenous to the hot, dry soils of the Southwest.
Even while the majority of those who breathe in the spores don’t get sick, those who do usually recover on their own within a few weeks or months; nonetheless, some people will need antifungal medicine.
Symptoms Of Valley Fever Fungal Infection
Between one and three weeks after inhaling the fungus spores, a person may start to experience symptoms of valley fever.
- Red, spotty rash
- Shortness of breath
- Joint aches and muscle soreness
- Night sweats
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Diagnosis Of valley fever
Only approximately 1% of those with symptoms of Valley fever go on to develop severe cases, therefore complications are rare.
According to My.clevelandclinic.org, To diagnose Valley fever, your healthcare provider may order some or all of these tests:
- Blood tests: Blood tests are the most common way to diagnose Valley fever. Your provider uses a needle to take blood from your vein, which they then send to a lab to look for certain signs of coccidioides (antibodies or antigens).
- Biopsy: Your provider may take a small amount of tissue and send it to a lab to look for signs of coccidioides.
- Imaging: Your provider may use a chest X-ray or CT scan to look for Valley fever pneumonia, a potentially serious complication. This will give your provider pictures of your lungs to see if there are any changes that indicate pneumonia.
Is Valley fever contagious?
When soil and dust are disturbed, Coccidioides spores are released into the air, where they can be breathed in and cause valley fever. No one can contract valley fever from another.
According to the CDC, “The fungus that causes valley fever, coccidioides, can’t spread from the lungs between people or between people and animals,”
Valley fever typically goes away on its own without medical attention. To ensure that the infection goes away without medication, all individuals with valley fever should visit their doctor every three to six months for up to two years after receiving a diagnosis.