Skip Navigation LinksCoccidioidomycosis

coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever)

CDPH Banner Valley fever is on the rise in California


en Español

What is Valley fever?                                                               

Valley fever (also called coccidioidomycosis or “cocci”) is a disease caused by a fungus that grows in the soil and dirt in some areas of California and the southwestern United States. Anyone who lives, works, or visits in areas where Valley fever has been reported can become infected. People and animals can get sick when they breathe in dust that contains the Valley fever fungus. This fungus usually infects the lungs and can cause respiratory symptoms including cough, fever, chest pain, and tiredness. In most people, the infection will go away on its own, but anyone who has these symptoms for more than a week should see a doctor or healthcare provider. Although it can be difficult to prevent Valley fever, the best way to reduce your risk is to avoid breathing in dirt or dust in areas where Valley fever is common.


Like seeds from a plant, a fungus grows and spreads from tiny spores that are too small to see. If you breathe in spores of the Valley fever fungus, you could get sick. ​


Where in California is Valley fever most common?

Valley fever has been diagnosed in people living throughout California, but most cases are reported in people living in the Central Valley and Central Coast.
Being outdoors in a dusty area in the Central Valley or Central Coast can put you at risk for Valley fever. You can get sick with Valley fever by breathing in dust, and you may have symptoms like cough, fever, and extreme tiredness 1 to 3 weeks after breathing in dust in these areas. Talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms that last more than a week. Tell your doctor if you have recently traveled to or through areas where Valley fever is most common. ​

Page Last Updated :