Ja’Maryn H., 2018 winner

Valley fever is one of the most commonly reported infectious diseases in Arizona, with over 7,000 cases reported to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) this year. Still, most Arizonans do not know the symptoms of this debilitating and potentially deadly fungal infection, which include cough, fever, and feeling exhausted. Research has shown that patients who are aware of valley fever are more likely to receive an earlier diagnosis than those who are unaware.

One way that ADHS is taking action to spread awareness is by launching its second annual Valley Fever Poster Contest in partnership with the Valley Fever Center for Excellence and Pueblo Magnet High School. The competition is now open, and we are encouraging all Arizonans, age 18 years and younger, to create a poster displaying important messages about valley fever, such as knowing the symptoms and asking to be tested. The winning poster artist(s) will receive prizes and be featured on our website. See poster contest details on our website, and good luck on your entries!

The beginning of the contest coincides with Fungal Disease Awareness Week, which is organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners to highlight the seriousness of fungal diseases,  including valley fever, in the U.S. and around the world. These diseases can lead to severe health outcomes and are often underrecognized and misdiagnosed, but you can help by educating yourself, thinking fungus, and spreading awareness.