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Diagnosis and Testing for Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)

Female doctor and older female patient.

Valley fever is usually diagnosed with a blood test.

How is Valley fever diagnosed?

Healthcare providers rely on your medical and travel history, symptoms, physical examinations, and laboratory tests to diagnose Valley fever. The most common way that healthcare providers test for Valley fever is by taking a blood sample and sending it to a laboratory to look for Coccidioides antibodies or antigens.

Healthcare providers may do imaging tests such as chest x-rays or CT scans of your lungs to look for Valley fever pneumonia. They may also perform a tissue biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the body and examined under a microscope. Laboratories may also see if Coccidioides will grow from body fluids or tissues (this is called a culture).

Where can I get tested for Valley fever?

Any healthcare provider can order a test for Valley fever.

How long will it take to get my test results?

It depends on the type of test. Results from a blood test will usually be available in a few days. If your healthcare provider sends a sample to a laboratory to be cultured, the results could take a few days to a couple of weeks.