Valley Fever cases are up from same time in 2017

- 2018's Monsoon season officially begins on Friday. As the storms can bring rain and stir up a lot of dust, it can lead to certain health problems, like Valley Fever.

According to Arizona's Department of Health, there was a spike in the illness back in December. Now, a second spike is seen.

"We've actually seen a pretty significant increase in cases, compared to this time last year," said Jessica Rigler, Branch Chief for Arizona Public Health Preparedness. 

The state had about 3,300 cases from January to May. That's about 1,000 more than the same time a year ago.

"Its not that common, but sometimes, the fever can spread from your lungs into other part of your body like your brain or bones," said Rigler.

That can make it deadly for some, but typically, one will see some symptoms first.

"You might have a fever, a cough, feel very tired or fatigued, have body aches or headaches," said Rigler.

State health officials are worried that as monsoon storms approach, the infection may spread more. It's carried through dirt, and that can be a big problem in the Valley.

"It's more opportunity for Valley Fever, potentially, to be affecting people," said Rigler. "That's why it's important to stay inside during those dust storms."


CDC information on Valley Fever
https://www.cdc.gov/features/valleyfever/index.html

WebMD information on Valley Fever
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/valley-fever#1

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