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.
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)
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)
You can now access this quarter's message from the director, which discusses various public health strategies that help in fighting Valley fever. You can access it HERE.
The AZDHS Valley Fever Poster Contest is now live until Novmeber 17th. We are always so excited when we partner with the health department for this event and we love seeing everyone's submissions! Visit their website for more info about submissions HERE.
Scientific American recently released a new publication about fungal diseases, including Valley fever. It gives a deep dive into fungal diseases and their relation to COVID-19, and shows the potential outlook for the coming years. You can read the article HERE.