Valley Fever symptoms and treatment

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An awareness poster from the Centers for Disease and Prevention.

Centers for Disease and Prevention

An awareness poster from the Centers for Disease and Prevention.

 

  • Symptoms of Valley Fever appear one to three weeks after inhaling the Coccidioides spore and can include: fatigue, cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, night sweats, muscle aches or joint pain, and a rash on the upper body or legs.
  • Valley Fever is not passed person-to-person. Animals, including dogs, can also be sickened after inhaling the spores.
  • Symptoms will often disappear within a few months without treatment. Doctors can prescribe a three- to six-month round of antifungal treatment to try and reduce symptoms or prevent the infection from worsening. Do not use over-the-counter medications to treat Valley Fever.
  • People who develop severe lung infections or have infections that spread beyond the lungs may need to stay in the hospital and be treated for six or more months. Valley Fever infections that develop into meningitis are fatal if not treated and may require lifelong antifungal treatments.
  • The CDC has specific information for doctors and clinicians: http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/coccidioidomycosis/health-professionals.html
  • To contact the New Mexico Department of Health: http://nmhealth.org/contact/emergency/

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