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Valley fever

Groups At Risk for Valley Fever

    Anyone, even healthy adults and children, can get Valley fever after breathing in the Valley fever fungus from dust in outdoor air, especially in the Central Valley or Central Coast areas of California. Certain people have a higher risk of getting Valley fever, especially those who spend more time outdoors and are exposed to dirt and dust. Other groups have a higher risk of getting very sick from Valley fever and being hospitalized if they are infected.


People at higher risk of getting Valley fever include: 

People who live, work, or travel in areas with high rates of Valley fever, especially if they:

  • Participate in outdoor activities that involve close contact with dirt or dust, including digging projects or landscaping
  • Live or work near areas where dirt and soil are stirred up, such as construction or excavation sites
  • Work in jobs where dirt and soil are stirred up or disturbed, including construction, field work, military work, and archaeology


Images of people doing activites outside that can put them at risk for getting Valley fever



People at higher risk of severe Valley fever or getting very sick if they are infected include:     

  • Older adults (60+ years old)
  • People who are Black or Filipino
  • Pregnant women, especially in the later stages of pregnancy
  • People with diabetes
  • People with health conditions that weaken the immune system, such as:
    • Cancer
    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
    • Autoimmune illnesses 
    • Treatment with chemotherapy, steroids, or other medications that affect the immune system
    • Organ transplant

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