Whether you live or vacation in endemic areas, any mammal who spends time where Valley Fever occurs can become infected by breathing in fungal spores. The fungus infects easily through inhalation and can even make healthy people and animals sick.
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What is Valley Fever?
Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) is a fungal infection most prevalent in the semi-arid desert regions of the southwestern United States, although the geographic range is expanding. Valley Fever primarily affects the lungs but, especially in dogs, can spread to other areas of the body, such as the bones, eyes, or nervous system.
What causes Valley Fever?
Valley fever is caused by a fungal infection from the Coccidioides fungus, which is found in the soil of arid regions like the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America. When soil is disturbed, the fungus can become airborne and inhaled, leading to the development of the disease.
Where is Valley Fever found?
Arizona and California desert communities have the highest concentration of cases. Experts predict this geographic area will continue to expand due to climate change and the increasing rate of new building construction which can release spores from the soil.
As of 2021, more than 30 million dogs are at risk of exposure to Valley Fever
Projections based on Expansion of Coccidioidomycosis Endemic Regions in the United States in Response to Climate Change
The Path to a Valley Fever Vaccine
A potential first-ever vaccine for systemic fungal infections
Deletion of disease-causing gene allows for use as a preventative vaccine
Designed to be given as an injection—the same way dogs receive other vaccines
Vaccine in development not approved
by the FDA or USDA
Valley Fever in the News
Man versus mycelium: The race to create vaccines against fungal threats
Climate change is hastening valley fever's spread across the American West
Intensifying atmospheric rivers are leading to a surge in Valley fever cases in California
The devil lurking in the dust
Valley fever, historically found only in the Southwest, is spreading. It can have devastating consequences.
Valley Fever Is a Growing Fungal Threat to Outdoor Workers
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An attenuated, live vaccine Δcps1 strain of Coccidioides posadasii