Valley fever is a pulmonary infection caused by a fungus. It is found in spores which are found in soil. Valley fever is not contagious, and can affect all age groups.
Causes of Valley Fever
Valley fever is due to the infection by the fungus, Coccidioides immitis. This fungus thrives in soil, especially soil that lines rodent burrows. Infection occurs when breathing the dust from such soil, and the fungi lodge in the lungs. Incubation is 1 to 4 weeks after exposure.
Signs and Symptoms of Valley Fever
Symptoms of valley fever include sore throat, fever and chills and night sweats. Headache, stiff neck and muscle and joint aches may occur. Involvement of the lungs leads to shortness of breath, cough and chest pain. Rashes of the skin are common. Malaise and fatigue usually occur, sometimes to severe degrees. Weight loss and loss of appetite is seen. Depression occurs.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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