Updated on 3 May 2019
An outbreak of the Coccidioidomycosis fungal disease, known as Valley Fever, has been traced to a renovation project in Tijuana, Mexico, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Valley Fever has been considered endemic in Tijuana.
Valley fever is a fungal disease acquired primarily through inhaling airborne spores in dust or soil. Approximately 40 percent of persons develop influenza-like symptoms 1–3 weeks after exposure. Approximately 5‒10 percent of persons develop serious pulmonary problems.
Currently, there is no vaccine for Valley Fever.
Adults age 60 and over
People who have weakened immune systems:
Have had an organ transplant
Are taking medications such as corticosteroids or TNF-inhibitors
People who have diabetes
People who are Black or Filipino
Shortness of breath
Night sweats and chills
Muscle aches or joint pain
Red, spotty rash on upper body or legs
*The CDC recommends contacting your physician if symptoms last a week or more.
Avoid areas with a lot of dust like construction or excavation sites. If you can’t avoid these areas, wear an N95 respirator (a type of face mask) while you’re there.
Stay inside during dust storms and close your windows.
Avoid activities that involve close contact to dirt or dust, including yard work, gardening, and digging.
Use air filtration measures indoors.
Clean skin injuries well with soap and water to reduce the chances of developing a skin infection, especially if the wound was exposed to dirt or dust.
Take preventive antifungal medication if your healthcare provider says you need it.
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