The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report, Enhanced Surveillance for Coccidioidomycosis, 14 States, 2016, in the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases showing that Coccidioidomycosis, commonly known as Valley fever, can cause severe illness in travelers to the southwestern U.S. where it is found. Valley fever causes flu-like symptom such as fever, cough, and body aches, making it challenging to diagnose. A small proportion of patients can develop severe, life-threatening disease affecting the lungs and other parts of the body.
CDC and researchers in 14 states investigated cases to understand the epidemiology and risk factors for Valley fever. They found that most patients reported travel to areas where Coccidioides lives (Arizona and California). They also found delays in diagnosis, unnecessary use of antibacterial drugs, and prolonged illness. These finding suggest that greater awareness among clinicians and the public, especially in areas where Valley fever is uncommon, would help to minimize delays in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. CDC continues to work with partners to raise awareness, conduct surveillance, and provide data to guide the development of new diagnostics and treatment options for Valley fever.
- Mark your calendars for Fungal Disease Awareness Week, October 1-5, 2018 and let us know if you have ideas for how to engage your organization.
- Stay tuned for more information about specific activities happening throughout the week and ways to get involved. CDC will be posting information on this webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/awareness-week.html.