Persistent flu-like symptoms that won’t go away no matter what you try may mean you have an uncommon illness known as Valley fever. At Arizona Infectious Disease in Scottsdale, Arizona, Dr. Aman Dalal has vast experience diagnosing and treating the lesser-known fungal infection. Call the office to learn more or use the online scheduler to book now.
Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis, is a fungal infection that sets up shop in your lungs when you breathe in contaminated airborne spores. The respiratory illness can last weeks or months and plague you with unrelenting flu-like symptoms.
If left untreated, the disease can spread to other parts of your body like your bones, brain, eyes, muscles, and skin.
Valley fever is most prominent in the Southwest United States and a few other specific areas where there is low average rainfall and high temperatures. It comes from a fungus that dwells in the soil. When the fungus is disrupted, it floats in the air, where it’s easy to breathe in.
Valley fever’s symptoms mimic those of influenza. When you’re infected with coccidioidomycosis, you can experience:
Even though Valley fever’s symptoms are like the flu, it’s not contagious, so you don’t have to fear spreading it to your family or friends.
Anyone, anywhere can get Valley fever, but you’re far more likely if you live in an area where the fungus pervades the soil. In addition, men and women in certain occupations, such as field workers, farmers, archaeologists, and county extension agents, are at increased risk.
If you spend a lot of time in nature or in the outdoors in endemic areas, you may also be at elevated risk.
Dr. Dalal determines if you have Valley fever with a blood test designed specifically to test for the illness. He’ll confirm the diagnosis with samples of lung and body fluids, tissues, and sputum.
There’s only one sure-fire treatment for Valley fever: antifungal medications. Dr. Dalal is an advanced infectious disease specialist with years of experience diagnosing and treating men and women with this taxing illness.
Treatment can take anywhere from three to six months. After your physical exam and lab work, Dr. Dalal customizes your treatment and walks you through the plan so you know exactly what to expect.
If you have persistent flu-like symptoms and may have been exposed to Valley fever, call Arizona Infectious Disease or use the online scheduler to book an appointment now.