The fungus that causes valley fever is found in the soil, most commonly in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America. The fungus lives in the soil, but it is transported through the air and into the lungs, where it infects people who breathe it in. When soil that contains the fungus is disturbed, spores are released into the air.
The disease cannot be transmitted from person to person.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Bed rest and fluids—Many patients with valley fever do not need treatment with medication. The infection will go away on its own. Bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids will quicken recovery.
Antifungal medication—Some patients, especially those with weakened immune systems, chronic diseases, severe pneumonia, disseminated valley fever, meningitis, or primary infection in third trimester of pregnancy may be prescribed an antifungal medication.
There is no completely effective way to prevent being infected with valley fever. Take extra precautions in areas where the infection is most common and during months when the chance of infection is increased.
To help reduce your chances of getting valley fever, take the following steps:
When working outside in the soil, especially in areas where the fungus is common, you should:
Always wear a mask.
Wet the soil to reduce the spores in the air.
Keep doors and windows tightly closed in areas where the fungus is common.
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