Treatment for Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
How is valley fever treated?
For many people, the symptoms of valley fever will go away within a few months without any treatment. Healthcare providers choose to prescribe antifungal medication for some people to try to reduce the severity of symptoms or prevent the infection from getting worse. Antifungal medication is typically given to people who are at higher risk for developing severe valley fever. The treatment is usually 3 to 6 months of fluconazole or another type of antifungal medication. There are no over-the-counter medications to treat valley fever. If you have valley fever, you should talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need treatment. The healthcare provider who diagnoses you with valley fever may suggest that you see other healthcare providers who specialize in treating valley fever.
People who have severe lung infections or infections that have spread to other parts of the body always need antifungal treatment and may need to stay in the hospital. For these types of infections, the course of treatment is usually longer than 6 months. Valley fever that develops into meningitis is fatal if it’s not treated, so lifelong antifungal treatment is necessary for those cases.
If you are a healthcare provider, click here for more information about treatment.
If I have valley fever, should I stay at home?
Valley fever isn’t contagious, so you don’t need to stay at home to avoid spreading the infection to other people. However, your healthcare provider may recommend that you rest at home to help your body fight off the infection.
Does valley fever have any long-term effects?
Most people who have valley fever will make a full recovery. A small percent of people develop long-term lung infections that can take several years to get better. In very severe cases of valley fever, the nervous system can be affected and there may be long-term damage, but this is very rare.