Is called valley feverin English valley feverthe new threat to human health United States. It is an infection caused by coccidioidesand smell which develops in hot and arid environments, very common in the south-western part of the country. Valley fever has been known for several years and is considered an endemic disease in that part of the United States, but due to climate change there are fears that it could spread to other areas where the population is not used to contact with this infection fungal.
Doctor Paris Salazar-Hamm, a researcher at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, makes this point: “Fungal pathogens are a largely overlooked group, and valley fever is an interesting model because it affects climate.” A 2019 study found that valley fever endemicity could spread from 12 to 17 states, and the number of cases could increase by 50 percent by 2100 under a “high warming scenario.” The Cdc (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported about 20,000 cases of valley fever in 2019. Although most infections are mild, the fungus can cause serious illness and death in a proportion of patients.
Valley fever, symptoms and contagion
Valley fever is contracted by inhaling fungal spores from the ground as they are lifted into the air. Symptoms develop over three weeks and include tiredness, cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, night sweats, muscle or joint pain, and skin rashes.
Valley fever, the deadly fungal infection spreading across the US, is ‘because of climate change’ https://t.co/kV64KJPlVY
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 1, 2023
“It can affect the brain and spinal cord”
Manish Butte, professor and chief of the division of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at the University of California’s department of pediatrics, explained to USA Today that the infection is endemic in the southwestern United States, where most people show symptoms mild. But there is a small subset of patients in whom the fungus “spreads rapidly and destructively throughout the body,” eating meat for food. “If it spreads to the brain or spinal cord, about 40 percent of people die,” Butte said. According to CDC data, about 200 people die of valley fever each year.
It’s not clear why only a fraction of people exposed to fungal spores develop severe disease, but Butte’s research suggests it may be a genetic trait that develops an immune system that can effectively fight infection.
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