Valley Fever has been making news across the country today. A new report in this week’s CDC’s weekly epidemiology report shows that Valley Fever numbers have gone up substantially in AZ over the last 10 years. Part of the increase is probably due to the fact that Valley Fever became reportable a few years ago- but no doubt part is because of better awareness of the disease among clinicians and the public.
The report (coauthored by our own Clarisse Tsang) highlights the important role that AZ plays in understanding Valley Fever. Working with the California Department of Public Health and the CDC, we helped uncover more information about who is testing positive for Valley Fever. The report shows that people 60 or older are more likely to test positive in Arizona. In California the cases tend to be younger with the largest group between 40 and 59 years old.
The report also shows that about 2/3 of the reported cases in the country are right here in Arizona. The national attention comes at a great time – since many snowbirds are returning home for the summer. Anyone who’s spent time in the Desert Southwest needs to watch out for Valley Fever symptoms… if you’re tired and have had a cough and fever for a couple of weeks, ask your doctor to see if you might need a Valley Fever test.