Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis – or ‘cocci’) is primarily a disease of the lungs caused by the inhalation of airborne particles of the fungus Coccidioides, which is found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
Valley Fever in People
Our Best Resource
Most people (60%) have no symptoms or only very mild flu-like symptoms and do not see a doctor. When symptoms are present, the most common are fatigue, cough, fever, profuse sweating at night, loss of appetite, chest pain, generalized muscle and joint aches particularly of the ankles and knees. There may also be a rash that resembles measles or hives but develops more often as tender red bumps on the shins or forearms.
Valley Fever is acquired by inhaling one or more airborne spores of the fungus coccidioides spp. The spores are carried in dust particles from the soil by the wind when the desert soil is disturbed.