CDC Report: Enhanced Surveillance for Valley Fever

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.

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About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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