Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
Coccidioidomycosis, commonly referred to as “Valley fever”, is a fungal infection caused by Coccidioides. The fungi are primarily found in soil in southwestern USA and cause infection via inhalation of fungal spores .
In most cases symptoms are mild, although patients might require antifungal medication. However, vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, immunocompromized individuals and diabetic patients are at higher risk of developing severe coccidioidomycosis infection. In approximately 5–10% of individuals infection can result in serious and long-term problems in the respiratory system. Moreover, in a minority of infections (approximately 1%) the fungi can disseminate causing severe complications, including meningitis .