Valley Fever Personal Stories

At a glance

  • Dawn's illness started with a terrible cough. For three years, she sought a diagnosis and treatment for the cough that kept her up at night.
  • At first, Laura believed she had COVID-19, but she tested negative. She then suspected Valley fever, but it wasn't until her second test that she was diagnosed.
  • For Sabine, Valley fever started as unusual ankle pain. It moved from her ankles to her knees, and the worsening joint pain prompted Sabine to visit multiple doctors.
Woman standing behind a sign outdoors

Personal stories

Dawn's story

When Dawn got sick four years ago, she started doing her own research. Dawn wanted to find out what might be causing her symptoms. Her suspicions turned out to be correct but it took a long time before doctors accurately diagnosed and treated her illness.

woman in a garden
Dawn enjoying a vacation in the Caribbean

Laura's story

In June 2020, Laura started having a fever, chills, rash, and constant tiredness. Her symptoms worsened over the following weeks. She developed muscle aches, a headache, night sweats, increased pulse rate, and a dry cough that wouldn't go away. Soon after, she started having trouble breathing. She thought it might be COVID-19, but her test came back negative.

woman with a sign in Cape Point, South Africa
Laura travelling in 2016

Sabine's story

Sabine's illness started with an unusual pain in her right ankle. "I ignored the pain because I thought it wasn't a big deal. A few days later, the pain still hadn't gone away and had spread to my left ankle. I thought that was strange, so I went to the emergency room," said Sabine.

woman standing outside near a bald eagle
Sabine on a trip in Alaska