Preventing Work-Related Valley Fever
Valley fever, also called Coccidioidomycosis or “cocci,” is an illness caused by a fungus found in the soil in many parts of California, especially the Central Valley and Central Coast. For some, it can be serious and even fatal. People who inhale fungal spores released when the soil is disturbed, may get Valley fever.
Construction workers and others who work outdoor are at risk for Valley fever, especially if they dig or disturb soil, operate heavy machinery, or work under windy conditions. A California law, AB 203 of 2019, requires construction employers who work in counties with high rates of Valley fever to train their employees on minimizing the risk of Valley fever (PDF) annually.
The Occupational Health Branch (OHB) has investigated Valley fever outbreaks in worker groups and has developed recommendations for preventing work-related Valley fever.
|Valley fever and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, and body aches. If a worker is experiencing these symptoms, they should isolate themselves from others, report it to their employer, and contact a health care provider right away. Laboratory tests are needed to know whether symptoms are caused by COVID-19 or Valley fever. Valley fever is usually diagnosed using a blood test, while the lab test for COVID-19 uses a respiratory sample from the nose or throat.|
August is Valley Fever Awareness Month!
Get involved! Find out how you can prevent Valley fever!