Those who have been in Arizona for a while may know that Valley Fever is a lung infection caused by a fungus that is common in the soil here. In most cases, people with Valley Fever have very mild symptoms like cough, fatigue and shortness of breath that they may confuse with the common cold. Some people, really not too many, end up with serious disease including meningitis (brain infection) and pneumonia (severe lung infection.) People can have symptoms for a long time or may need to be hospitalized– especially the elderly or those with weak immune systems.
We have been partnering with county health departments and the Valley Fever Center for Excellence to monitor this uniquely western disease for a number of years and have done a great job increasing public knowledge about the risk factors of this disease (see our Coccidioidomycosis/Valley Fever home page). Valley Fever Awareness Week starts this Saturday, November 10th with a free Continuing Medical Education (CME) course that has been co-sponsored by ADHS and the Valley Fever Center for Excellence. The week also features a luncheon in Tucson and a reception at the new Valley Fever Center in Phoenix. Find out more.