Valley Fever cases drop in SLO County

February 19, 2013

Valley FeverCases of Valley Fever in San Luis Obispo County have dropped from 225 cases in 2011 to 163 cases in 2012.

For the past few years, cases of the disease have been on the increase with 87 reported in 2009 to 225 in 2011. In contrast, in 2012 Santa Barbara County reported only 20 cases of Valley Fever. [KSBY]

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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According to the County Health Department, most of the valley fever cases have been in the Paso area.

The frenzied building has stopped; that’s probably why the number of cases has dropped. As soon as the building and excavating starts again, the number of cases will go up. Sad but true.