Alternate Names : San Joaquin Valley Fever, Coccidioidomycosis
Valley fever is an infection, usually in the lungs, caused by the fungus Coccidioides immitis. It is called valley fever because the fungus is commonly found in the soil of the valleys of the southwestern US, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America.
What is going on in the body?
Valley fever may cause a range of mild symptoms, and a mild lung infection. Or the infection may be severe and progressive, and spread throughout the body, which can be fatal.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
Valley fever is caused by a fungus that thrives in the soil. An infection occurs when a person breathes in dust from soil that contains the fungus. The disease is commonly found in California's San Joaquin Valley, southern and central Arizona, and southwest Texas. A person who works outdoors in those areas may be at a higher risk.