More heat, dryer weather, and more people living in Valley Fever affected regions has lead to an increase in cases of Valley Fever, especially in California.
California has created many cases by building state prisons in affected areas, leading to massive outbreaks and the expensive transfer and care of prisoners.
Even more at risk are those who work outside. Valley Fever is a fungus that spreads when dirt dries out, carrying the fungus inside anyone around to breathe it in. Agricultural and construction workers are among those who need to watch for Valley Fever symptoms.
Unfortunately Valley Fever symptoms look just like the flu. That means they often go undiagnosed, and the disease can be deadly if untreated long enough. Those who live in areas where the outbreak is the worst are more likely to have doctors recognize Valley Fever, but visitors, who also have less immunity, are more likely to go home and see doctors less familiar with symptoms and not aware that their patient travelled through the South West.
In the last decade, Valley Fever rates have gone up considerably, so if you live in or visit the South West you need to see a doctor about any flu like symptoms.
If you live in an affected area, what steps are you taking to avoid the outbreak?