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 story about a Valley fever survivor and current progress on a vaccine was featured on NBC News! You can read the article HERE.
The presentations from the National Academies' event on Valley Fever are now available for viewing! You can watch all the presentations HERE.