Valley fever is affecting more Arizonans this year according to a recent study. According to Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association:
[There have been] 4,957 reported cases of valley fever (according to the Arizona Department of Health Services).
Sometimes the symptoms are hard to detect as they are very similar to the flu. Mayo Clinic states that if infected you should feel:
Fever, Cough, Chest pain, Chills, Night sweats, Headache, Fatigue, Joint aches, Red, spotty rash
The rash that sometimes accompanies valley fever is made up of painful red bumps that may later turn brown. The rash mainly appears on your lower legs, but sometimes on your chest, arms and back. Others may have a raised red rash with blisters or eruptions that look like pimples.
If you don’t become ill from valley fever, you may only find out you’ve been infected when you later have a positive skin or blood test or when small areas of residual infection (nodules) in the lungs show up on a routine chest X-ray. Although the nodules typically don’t cause problems, they can look like cancer on X-rays.
If you do develop symptoms, especially severe ones, the course of the disease is highly variable. It can take months to fully recover, and fatigue and joint aches can last even longer. The severity of the disease depends on several factors, including your overall health and the number of fungus spores you inhale.
If you suspect you may have Valley Fever, be sure to make an appointment at the Wickenburg Hospital Clinic.