Podcast # 326: Valley Fever - The Emergency Medical Minute

Author: Michael Hunt, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Valley fever is a fungal infection known as Coccidiomycosis that can present with vague symptoms like cough, fever, myalgias.
  • A thorough history is critical to the diagnosis. Disease is localized to  the Southwestern US (California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah) and parts of Central/South America.
  • Disease is caused by inhaling fungal spores which damage the lung. Rarely, the disease can disseminate and cause infections that require systemic anti fungal therapy.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Increase in reported coccidioidomycosis–United States, 1998-2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2013; 62:217.

Saubolle MA, McKellar PP, Sussland D. (2007). Epidemiologic, clinical, and diagnostic aspects of coccidioidomycosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 45:26.

Taylor AB, Briney AK. (1949). Observations on primary coccidioidomycosis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 30:1224.

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