Valley Fever cases rise in San Luis Obispo County

August 29, 2012

Cases of Valley Fever in San Luis Obispo County have more than doubled over the past few years from 87 reported cases in 2009 to 225 cases in 2011. [KSBY]

So far this year, there have been 100 reported cases.

The disease is spread by a fungus that grows naturally in portions of Arizona and California. In the past, most cases of Valley Fever were found in the Central Valley. Now, San Luis Obispo County is becoming a hot spot.

Most people who breathe in the spores develop no symptoms at all. Others, about 40 percent, develop flu-like symptoms including cough, congestion, fever, fatigue, body aches and headaches that can last a month or more. Valley Fever can lead to severe pneumonia, meningitis and even death.

The Mayo Clinic’s website advises people in areas with the spores to be aware of the symptoms. With treatment at the first sign of symptoms, most people will recover without problems.


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Thanks for the detection tips. I do a lot of work in outside environments that can be quite dusty. It is one of the concerns I have about the health consequences of my work. I am hoping that my otherwise good constitution would be able to resist infection but you never know.

The biggest indicators I had were flu like symptoms, a low grade fever, and a rash on my legs- looked almost like spider bites/bruises. Within 2 weeks of infection I had lost 20 lbs and developed severe pneumonia. My 3 month recovery time was shorter than most. Those with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of infection, but everyone is at risk. If you have flu like symptoms for a week or more, get checked out. Pets can be infected too.