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- Construction workers
- People in the military
- People who work with or who are frequently exposed to soil
- People with weakened immune systems
- Elderly people
- Women in the third trimester of pregnancy
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Flu-like symptoms that lasts for weeks or a month, including
- Night sweats
- Aching in the joints
- Rash that consists of painful red bumps
- Fatigue that lasts longer than a few weeks
- Blood tests
- Sputum smear or culture
- Bed rest and fluids—Many patients with valley fever do not need treatment with medication. The infection will go away on its own. Bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids will quicken recovery.
- Antifungal medication—Some patients, especially those with weakened immune systems, chronic diseases, severe pneumonia, disseminated valley fever, meningitis, or primary infection in third trimester of pregnancy may be prescribed an antifungal medication.
When working outside in the soil, especially in areas where the fungus is common, you should:
- Always wear a mask.
- Wet the soil to reduce the spores in the air.
- Keep doors and windows tightly closed in areas where the fungus is common.
- Go inside during a dust storm.
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Valley Fever Connections http://www.valley-fever.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Ampel NM. New perspectives on coccidioidomycosis. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2010 May;7(3):181-185.
Ampel NM, Giblin A, Mourani JP, Galgiani JN. Factors and outcomes associated with the decision to treat primary pulmonary coccidioidomycosis. Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Jan 15;48(2):172-178.
Environmental mediation of valley fever. University of Arizona Tucson website. Available at: http://www.casa.arizona.edu/~peter/valleyfever/web/index.html . Accessed September 18, 2013.
Fisher BT, Chiller TM, et al. Hospitalizations for coccidioidomycosis at forty-one children's hospitals in the United States. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010 Mar;29(3):243-247.
Galgiani JN. Valley fever tutorial for primary care professionals. The Valley Fever Center for Excellence website. Available at http://www.vfce.arizona.edu/resources/pdf/Tutorial%5Ffor%5FPrimary%5Fcare%5FPhysicians.pdf . Updated 2012. Accessed September 18, 2013.
Hector RF, Rutherford GW, et al. The public health impact of coccidioidomycosis in Arizona and California. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011;8(4):1150-1173.
Valley fever in humans. Valley Fever Center for Excellence website. Available at: https://www.vfce.arizona.edu/ValleyFeverInPeople/Default.aspx . Accessed September 18, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013