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Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is sponsoring a randomized controlled trial to learn more about the best treatment for Valley fever. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, CDC Director Tom Frieden, and NIH Director Francis Collins recently called attention to Valley fever and this randomized controlled trial.

Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis, is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides. The fungus is known to live in the soil in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico and Central and South America. The fungus was also recently found in south-central Washington. People can get valley fever by breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air, although most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick. Usually, people who get sick with valley fever will get better on their own within weeks to months, but some people will need antifungal medication. Certain groups of people are at higher risk for becoming severely ill. It’s difficult to prevent exposure to Coccidioides in areas where it’s common in the environment, but people who are at higher risk for severe valley fever should try to avoid breathing in large amounts of dust if they’re in these areas.  

For other fungal topics, visit the fungal diseases homepage.

Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) Topics

Arthroconidia of Coccidioides immitisDefinition

What is valley fever?

Sick man holding a handkerchiefSymptoms

Learn about valley fever symptoms

large group photo of diverse peopleRisk & Prevention

Who is at risk?

Phoenix dust stormSources of Infection

How do people get valley fever?

Woman doctor and patientDiagnosis & Testing

How is valley fever diagnosed?

Man pouring pills in his handTreatment & Outcomes

Antifungal treatment, resolution of symptoms

Group of doctorsHealth Professionals

Technical information about valley fever

Number of reported coccidioidomycosis cases,

Valley fever surveillance

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