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. Arizona Infectious Disease 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 Q & A
What is Valley Fever?
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.
What causes Valley Fever?
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.
What are the symptoms of Valley Fever?
Valley fever’s symptoms mimic those of influenza. When you’re infected with coccidioidomycosis, you can experience:
Shortness of breath
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.
Who’s at risk for Valley Fever?
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.
How is Valley Fever diagnosed?
We will determine if you have Valley fever based on the history, chest x-ray, and a blood test designed specifically to test for valley fever.
How is Valley Fever treated?
There’s only one sure-fire treatment for Valley fever: antifungal medications. Treatment can take anywhere from three to six months. After your physical exam and lab work, the team 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.