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Valley fever

Talking to a doctor about Valley fever

    Note: Valley fever and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, and body aches. If you are experiencing these symptoms, isolate yourself from others and contact your healthcare provider immediately. Laboratory tests are needed to know whether symptoms are caused by COVID-19 or Valley fever. Usually, Valley fever is diagnosed using a blood test, but the lab test for COVID-19 uses a respiratory sample from your nose or throat.

Talking to a Doctor about Valley Fever

If you have questions about Valley fever or think you may have it, be sure to talk to a doctor or healthcare provider. 

Valley fever symptoms can take 1 to 3 weeks to appear after breathing in the fungus from dust in outdoor air. These symptoms can often be mistaken for other illnesses and will likely last several weeks. The only way to find out if you have Valley fever is to see a doctor. 

Kicking a soccer ball in a dusty area outside

Before you talk to a doctor about Valley fever, think about any recent outdoor exposures to dirt and dust you may have had, especially if you work outdoors or have recently traveled to or through areas where Valley fever is common, including the Central Valley or Central Coast of California, as well as Arizona.

When you talk to a doctor or healthcare provider,
tell them if:

  • You have had any of the following symptoms for more than a week: cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, fever, chest pain, night sweats, muscle or joint pain, rash, headaches, or unexplained weight loss

  • You have traveled to or through certain areas where Valley fever is common

  • You work outdoors in dusty areas or around worksites where dirt and dust is stirred up (for example, on construction or excavation sites)

Valley Fever Maps

Click to see maps of areas where Valley fever is most commonly reported.

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