November a peak time for valley fever infections

Nov 13, 2013, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:00 am

Each year, the Governor’s Office declares the second week of November Valley Fever Awareness Week, and health experts are reminding residents to be aware of their health, especially in breezy weather.

Valley fever is caused by fungus that lives in the soil and when disturbed, it can get transmitted into the human body.

While falling deathly ill is common, some who become infected remain asymptomatic.

“Usually, it’s a lung infection, but it can spread to other parts of the body, said Jessica Rigler of Arizona Department of Health Services. “If it goes into the brain, it can cause death.”

About 10,000 Arizonans are stricken with valley fever every year. Typical symptoms are flu-like, however, the most significant difference is the length of time a person is sick. Influenza will run its course in a few days, while valley fever can linger for months.

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November a peak time for valley fever infections