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San Joaquin Valley Fever: Signs, Symptoms, Preventions & Treatment

Valley Fever is a disease caused by a fungus “Coccidiodes”. This condition referred to as “San Joaquin Valley Fever” or “Desert Rheumatism”. The infection occurs in the lungs. It can spread to other parts of the body.

The severe case called “Disseminated Coccidioidomycosis”. The fungus tends to live in the soil. This disease found in most places such as:

  • Southwestern U.S
  • Parts of Mexico
  • Central America
  • South America

A person with this disease gets better without any treatment. The condition may take place within a week or months. While some people with a severe case may need antifungal medication.

valley fever

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF VALLEY FEVER

The symptoms of this condition may vary to the infection. Some people exposed to this disease don’t have any symptoms. But if it occurs, it can develop a serious disease. Such as Chronic and Disseminated Valley Fever.

The initial forms may have flu-like signs such as:

  • Fever
  • A cough
  • Fatigue
  • A headache
  • Short breathing
  • Muscle & Joint Pain
  • Night Sweats
  • Rash on Upper Body

Chronic Valley Fever Symptoms:

  • Blood-tinged Sputum
  • Chest Pain
  • A cough
  • Nodules in the Lungs
  • Low-grade Fever
  • Weight Loss

Disseminated Valley Fever Symptoms:

  • Meningitis
  • Painful and Swollen Joints in the knees
  • Painful Lesions in the skull and other joints
  • Extreme nodules, ulcers, and skin lesions

SOURCE OF INFECTION

The cause of the infection is a fungus “Coccidioides Immitis” and “Coccidioides posadasii”. It transmits by the respiratory tract through inhalation. Once they’re inhaled, it develops from 30-60 micron called “Spherules”. It is filled with 3-5 micron diameter endospores.

RISK AND PREVENTION

WHO GETS VALLEY FEVER?

The following are factors at risk of developing the condition:

  • A person with a weak immune system
  • A person having HIV/AIDS
  • Having an organ transplant
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Ethnicity Race
  • Pregnant Women
  • Age of a Person
  • A person with Diabetes
  • People who are Black & Filipinos

PREVENTION

The listed below are some tips to prevent from developing the condition.

  • Avoid dusty areas such as construction sites.
  • Avoid activities involving close contact with dust or dirt.
  • Stay inside your home and close the windows when there’s dust storm.
  • Use indoor air filtration measures.
  • Wash with soap and water to clean skin injuries to avoid skin infection.
  • Wear an N95 respirator when you’re in dusty places.
  • Take antifungal medication if needed.

DIAGNOSIS

It is difficult to diagnose valley fever. You can’t rely on the signs and symptoms of this condition. Due to the same symptoms with other illnesses. The diagnosis will depend on the presence of the fungus. Your doctor will suggest you to undergo:

  • Sputum Smear or Culture Tests
  • Blood Tests
  • Skin Tests

TREATING VALLEY FEVER

The following are some treatments for Valley Fever.

  • Take enough rest.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Increase your protein intake.
  • Eat more fruits rich in Vit. C
  • Try alkalizing your body. by drinking a half teaspoon of baking soda in lemon water.
  • Use oil of oregano.