In this summer and fall, there is a greater chance of Valley fever spreading throughout California, according to public health officials.
The California Department of Public Health reports that Valley fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis or “cocci,” typically affects the lungs and causes persistent respiratory issues such coughing, fever, chest pain, body aches, and weariness.
Some people’s symptoms can be so bad that they would need to miss work, school, or other regular activities.
Inhaling fungal spores that grow in soil and dust leads to valley fever. The fungus, however, may spread into the air during a rainy season.
According to Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of CDPH and state public health officer, “California’s dry conditions, combined with recent heavy winter rains, could result in increasing Valley fever cases in the coming months.”
According to research from the University of California, Berkeley and the CDPH, the spread of the fungus that causes Valley fever is accelerated by dry spells followed by a wet season.
Experts and CDPH authorities recommend the public to exercise caution and become knowledgeable on how to differentiate the sickness from other respiratory disorders, such as COVID-19, in light of the historically wet winter Southern California had.
The CDPH states that in order to distinguish between Valley fever and other illnesses, laboratory testing are required and that symptoms could linger for a month or longer.
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Officials advise consulting a doctor and inquiring whether Valley fever may be to blame if a COVID-19 test is negative but respiratory symptoms persist for more than a week.
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