California, Arizona see spike in valley fever cases as worsening drought kicks up dust

May 6, 2013 9:45 AM

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California, Arizona see spike in valley fever cases as worsening drought kicks up dust

FRESNO, Calif. – California and federal public health officials say valley fever, a potentially lethal but often misdiagnosed disease infecting more and more people around the nation, has been on the rise as warming climates and drought have kicked up the dust that spreads it.

The fever has hit California's agricultural heartland particularly hard in recent years, with incidence dramatically increasing in 2010 and 2011. The disease — which is prevalent in arid regions of the United States, Mexico, Central and South America — can be contracted by simply breathing in fungus...

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