Researchers are investigating a link between climate change and Valley fever, an infection caused by a fungus that lives in soil in parts of the U.S., amid an increase in cases.

Is there a link between Valley fever and climate change? What are its causes? Researchers are currently investigating the link between climate changes and Valley fever as it is said to be an infection that is mainly caused by a fungus that resides in soil in parts of the US.

Recently, there has been an upsurge in the cases of Valley fever, particularly in the southwest, as per Grist. It is also estimated that nearly 200 people die every year due to Valley fever.

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What exactly is Valley Fever?

A Valley fever is mainly caused by a strain in the fungus termed Coccidiodes, or Cocci called for short. The symptoms of the fever mainly include shortness of breath, fever, cough, or rashes on the legs or upper body which may linger for weeks to months in some cases.

1. Valley fever is caused by a strain of fungus called Coccidioides, or Cocci for short. Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, rash on the upper body or legs, among others that may linger for weeks to months in some cases. This fungus can be found in soil and dust and has been found in western and southwestern states of the US which includes California, Nevada, Mexico, and South America.

In 2019, more than 18,000 cases are reported of Valley fever in the country and 15,000 in 2018 as per the report of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Is Valley fever infectious?

The Valley fever isn’t infectious and cannot spread between the people. However, there are areas in which fungus is common and hence creates difficulty for the people to breathe in. The CDC also shared notes that people should try to avoid dusty places as much as possible.

This fever is common in aged people 60 and above. Certain groups may be at higher risk of developing Valley fever. These include infants, pregnant women, diabetic patients- as per CDC.