Arizona Valley Fever Cases Nearly Double Since Same Time Last Year
Windy days and a lack of rain may be to blame for a spike in valley fever cases in Arizona.
Health experts aren't certain, but suspect the weather is behind the spike in valley fever cases from 1,300 last year to 2,400 this year.
It's known to take on flu or cold-like symptoms, varying from fever, chills, chest pain, rash, to a dry cough.
"There are some people who have illnesses that may last for months or even years," said Shane Brady with the Arizona Department of Health Services. "It's why it's important that if you think you have Valley Fever and you have those symptoms you should ask your doctor to test you for it."
Valley fever can compromise women who are pregnant, or people with weak immune systems. If left unchecked it can spread to the body's lymph nodes and spinal cord and in rare cases be fatal.
To lower your risk of contracting the fungus, Brady said avoid activities that stir up dust or being outside when the air is filled with blowing dust.