Two-thirds of all U.S. Valley Fever infections are contracted in Arizona even though nationally, Valley Fever is uncommon and considered an orphan disease. The Arizona Board of Regents established the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona to improve understanding, medical care, and research about this disease.
There is no reason to believe that people who have had Valley Fever are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 as Valley fever does not interfere with or weaken a person’s immune system. (May 2020)
Strictly speaking you cannot. But, there are general patterns that are different and can provide you clues:
- COVID-19 is an emerging epidemic. The number of confirmed cases is on the rise and based on current projections, it is expected to peak in Arizona in the next couple of weeks. The risk for Valley fever is ever-present with seasonal fluctuations each year. As COVID-19 hopefully declines over the coming months, the number of Valley fever cases are expected to increase into the summer.
- COVID-19 causes a more acute illness. Chronic COVID-19 illnesses have not been evident. In contrast, while Valley fever sometimes starts abruptly, it typically continues for weeks to several months before symptoms completely resolve.
- The primary complication of COVID-19 is respiratory failure. While Valley fever can result in respiratory failure in rare cases, the infection can also spread to other parts of the body, causing destruction in bones, skin, the brain or elsewhere. (May 2020)
A new Message from our center director, Dr. John Galgiani, is available to view. This edition discusses the Western Regional Valley Fever Workshop that was held last month for Valley Fever Awareness Week. It highlights some of the presenters that shared their research during the event and how Valley fever continues to be of concern in the Western U.S. A recording of this workshop is also now avaiable, along with a schedule of the presentations with video timestamps.
The Valley Fever Center for Excellence is honored to be designated as a College of Medicine Tucson Priority Center in the new philanthropy initiative, "Fuel Wonder". This program encourages giving to centers that are supported by your generosity to conduct research and create new innovations. For our center, there are four areas that you can give to--the Valley Fever Center for Excellence Fund, the Valley Fever Vaccine Project, the Valley Fever Companion Care Fund, and the Valley Fever Center for Excellence Endowment. More details about each of these projects and how to donate can be found HERE.
The VFCE has a new members page! If you work with or study Cocci at the University of Arizona and are interested in working with our center on new research and future projects, please fill out this form to apply for membership.
You can also visit the new Valley Fever Collaborative page for info about how this group is addressing the health and economic burden caused by Valley fever. The Collaborative brings together a diverse team of interested parties to address the critical public health threat of Valley fever. If you are interested in joining the VFC, please fill out this application form.