GV

getrichwithvitamins.com

Health News

What is Valley Fever? Cases increasing on the Central Coast

Valley Fever is a fungal infection that attacks the lungs. People can become infected when they breathe in fungal spores. The fungus is in the soil in places like the Southwest and the Central Valley. Dr. Martha Blum, medical director of infectious prevention at Montage Health, said the Central Coast soil has the right chemistry and balance of minerals for the fungus. The fungus that creates the spores is found in dry soil and people can get sick when they inhale the dust carrying the dust. “We see the largest exposures are people who work outside in dry, dusty conditions. So, for example, agricultural workers, people who work on outdoor construction projects where they’re really digging and lots of dry dust is coming up,” Blum said . The infection is not transmitted from person to person. However, Blum said Valley Fever is still a concern for our area. In 2014, Monterey County had about 50 cases a year, and in 2022, the county reported more than 100 cases. “Most of the people who get valley fever don’t need any specific treatment. They’ll experience it as a flu-like illness and they may not be able to distinguish it from any other sort of cold or flu. They may just feel feverish and achy for a few days and then it just resolves on its own and they don’t get any worse,” Blum said. However, Blum said that in some cases, people can develop severe illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis. “The symptoms that would require an evaluation by a medical professional would be very high fevers that aren’t going away. Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, a cough that’s just very persistent and not going away,” Blum said. Valley Fever is treatable , and if anyone is experiencing serve symptoms, they should seek medical attention.

Valley Fever is a fungal infection that attacks the lungs. People can become infected when they breathe in fungal spores. The fungus is in the soil in places like the Southwest and the Central Valley.

Dr. Martha Blum, medical director of infectious prevention at Montage Health, said the Central Coast soil has the right chemistry and balance of minerals for the fungus.

The fungus that creates the spores is found in dry soil and people can get sick when they inhale the dust carrying the dust.

“We see the largest exposures are people who work outside in dry, dusty conditions. So, for example, agricultural workers, people who work on outdoor construction projects where they’re really digging and lots of dry dust is coming up,” Blum said .

The infection is not transmitted from person to person. However, Blum said Valley Fever is still a concern for our area. In 2014, Monterey County had about 50 cases a year, and in 2022, the county reported more than 100 cases.

“Most of the people who get valley fever don’t need any specific treatment. They’ll experience it as a flu-like illness and they may not be able to distinguish it from any other sort of cold or flu. They may just feel feverish and achy for a few days and then it just resolves on its own and they don’t get any worse,” Blum said.

However, Blum said that in some cases, people can develop severe illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis.

“The symptoms that would require an evaluation by a medical professional would be very high fevers that aren’t going away. Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, a cough that’s just very persistent and doesn’t go away,” Blum said.

Valley Fever is treatable, and if anyone is experiencing symptoms, they should seek medical attention.