Signs & Symptoms
of Valley Fever
More than 60% of people infected with Valley Fever don't know it. They may experience mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all and recover with no medical diagnosis or treatment.
When symptoms are present, they generally show up between one to three weeks from exposure and inhalation of the fungal spore. Symptoms may by similar to those of other common illnesses.
Pneumonia-like symptoms include:
- Chest Pain
- Difficulty Breathing
- Coughing Blood
Other symptoms may include:
- Profuse Night-Sweating
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Muscle and Joint Aches
(often in ankles and knees)
- Painful Red Bumps that Turn Brown (often on shins and forearms)
- Skin Lesions
- Stiff Neck
- Central Nervous System Disturbances
If you, a friend, a loved one or a pet experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor or vet and ask to be tested for Valley Fever. Valley Fever can only be determined by a laboratory test ordered by a doctor.
In the majority of cases, the immune system is able to control the infection on its own. In those persons, treatment may be unnecessary, and infection produces an immunity that protects them from future infections for the rest of their lives.
For people or pets that do need treatment, there are antifungal drugs that can be given orally or by vein to control the fungus and its symptoms. In cases where Valley Fever has created abscesses in the skin, lungs, bones or joints, surgery may be required to remove or drain infected areas. While the antifungal medications or naturally developed immunity can control an infection, there is presently no cure for Valley Fever.
ScaryAir.org was developed by the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona to educate Arizona residents about Valley Fever.
Many Arizonans haven't heard of Valley Fever and because the symptoms can resemble minor illnesses, medical care is often delayed, worsening the effects of the disease. Every year, approximately 150,000 people and thousands of pets, in the United States develop Valley Fever.
The ScaryAir.org website exists soley upon donations with support of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona.