acer (forrest at biosci.uq.oz.au) wrote:
: G'day from queensland australia,
: A friend I was talking to on the net told me she had suffered (and
: still does suffer) from Valley Fever. It's meant to be found in Arizona and
: parts of the Middle east.
: What I'd like to know is whether this is viral, what the treatment
: entails and the long term prognosis after treatment.
: It may well be a bacteria as she was talking about spores carried
: in the air. It also has an association with the desert.
: thanks for any replies,
Valley fever is caused by a fungus (sorry, forgot the name). The spores
are air-borne (they are carried in dust particles). The fungus is native
to the American Southwest, specially the San Joaquin Valley of California
(hence the name Valley Fever). As far as the disease goes, 95% of the
people get just a headache and slight fever, and think they have a common
cold. The immune system fights the infection and it fades away in a few
days. However, the other 5% develop serious lung infection, and can die if
the diagnostic is not made correctly in a week or so (if it is, then the
disease can be treated).
Hope this helps.
By the way, I'm a virologist, but I know a little about fungi (I work with
plant viruses, and 90% of all plant diseases are caused by fungi) and
valley fever, since I'm in California right now...
Dep. of Plant Pathology
University of California, Davis