Podcast # 326: Valley Fever

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.

 

References:

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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