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Valley fever

Valley Fever Awareness and Outreach Toolkit

About this Toolkit

This toolkit was developed for local health departments and other local health partners in California to use in their planning and outreach efforts to raise awareness about Valley fever. Digital resources in this toolkit can be downloaded and shared with community-based organizations, other local partners, and members of the public. 

Why is Valley fever awareness important?

The number of reported Valley fever cases in California has greatly increased in recent years. Valley fever can be serious for some people, and symptoms can last weeks or months, causing people to miss work, school, or activities they enjoy. Because Valley fever can be serious, it is important that people become more aware of this disease, especially those in communities where Valley fever is common and in groups at risk for severe disease.  

The California Department of Public Health has developed resources to equip local agencies with key messaging to help expand Valley fever awareness and educate communities about symptoms, groups at risk, and potential disease outcomes for Valley fever. These resources include tips on how to engage local partners and incorporate Valley fever information into outreach activities and conversations with community partners. 

Key Times for Awareness and Outreach


flower

Spring & early summer – Engage local partners and plan for outreach and awareness events before peak Valley fever season begins in the summer and fall.


sun

Summer & early fall – Many people in California are infected by the Valley fever fungus during this time.

  • Share messaging about Valley fever and how it spreads
  • Encourage practical tips for prevention

    • August – Valley Fever Awareness Month
      Suggested activities:
      • Issue news release and engage local media
      • Share social media messages
      • Host community forum or outreach event

leaf

Fall (specifically September through November) – Most cases of Valley fever in California are diagnosed during this time.

  • Share messaging about Valley fever symptoms and when to see a healthcare provider


Resources/Tools in the Toolkit 

  • Partner Engagement/Outreach Plan  coming soon!
      • Includes recommendations for partnering with local agencies about Valley fever awareness and sample agenda for community forum (for local agency use)

  • Talking Points (PDF)
      • Bulleted facts and ready-to-use key messages about Valley fever (for local agency use) 

  • Q&A (PDF)
      • Answers to common questions and misconceptions about Valley fever (for local agency and public use)

  • Educational Resources for the Public
  • Graphics (see below)
      • Transmission and prevention graphics for digital ads, web links, or social media (graphics may be co-branded with local agency information)

  • Social Media Messaging (see below)
      • Messages and graphics for use on social media platforms, especially during Valley Fever Awareness Month in August

Graphics & Social Media Messaging

Click an image to view and download (right-click and select "Save image as")


Transmission: How People Get Infected

Valley fever ("cocci") infection. The Valley fever fungus grows in the dirt. Spores get into the air when dust is stirred up.

English | Hmong | Spanish | Tagalog 


Prevention: Reduce Dust

Valley fever could be in the dirt and dust. Before digging, wet down dirt to reduce dust.Valley fever could be in the dirt and dust
Valley fever could be in the dirt and dust. Before digging, wet down dirt to reduce dust.

Social Media

Valley fever is on the rise in California. Dusty road landscape.
Valley fever is on the rise in California. Dusty field landscape.
Suggested message: 

Cases of Valley fever in California have nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019. Get prevention tips and learn more about #ValleyFever and where it is most common: https://bit.ly/VFBasics

Valley fever could be in the dirt and dust. Shovels in dirt.
​Suggested message: 

Valley fever is caused by breathing in dust that contains spores of a fungus. In areas where Valley fever is common, wet down dirt before digging to help reduce dust. Learn more prevention tips and where in California #ValleyFever is common: www.CouldBeValleyFever.org

#ValleyFeverAwareness

Valley fever could be in the dirt and dust where you work. Contruction worker outside.
​Suggested message: 
Valley fever is caused by a fungus found in soil in parts of California. People who work outdoors are at risk if they dig or disturb soil or work under windy conditions. Learn more and get prevention tips: https://bit.ly/VfAtWork
Valley fever could be in the dirt and dust where you work. Firefighter digging outside.
​Suggested message: 

The Valley fever fungus can infect people who work or dig outdoors in certain areas in California. In 2021, several members of a wildland firefighter crew got Valley fever after digging and moving soil to control a fire. Fire safety crews should learn about #ValleyFever and steps for protection: https://bit.ly/VfFireTraining


Valley fever could be in the dusty air you breathe at work. Man working in dusty field.
Valley fever could be in the dusty air your breathe at work. Two people digging on construction site.
​Suggested message: 

Working outside in some dusty areas could increase your chances of getting Valley fever, a potentially serious illness. Get the facts. Protect yourself. https://bit.ly/VfAtWork

#ValleyFeverAwareness

Aches, pains, and a fever that lasts could be Valley fever. Exhausted man holding his head.
Suggested message: 

Valley fever and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, and body aches. But symptoms of Valley fever can last for weeks. Different lab tests are needed to know whether symptoms are caused by #COVID19 or #ValleyFever. Learn more: https://bit.ly/VFSymptoms

#ValleyFeverAwareness

Valley fever could be the cough and fatigue that don't end. Man coughing and holding his chest.
Valley fever could be the cough and fatigue that don't end. Man coughing with blanket around him.
Suggested message: 

If you've tested negative for #COVID19 but still have a cough that has lingered for over a week, ask a doctor about Valley fever. Lasting aches and pains, fever, fatigue, and coughing could be symptoms of #ValleyFever (which is caused by breathing in a fungus). https://bit.ly/VFSymptoms

#ValleyFeverAwareness

Valley fever could be more severe for some. Black woman outside.
Valley fever could be more severe for some. Pregnant woman indoors.

​Suggested message: 
Pregnant women, older adults, people who are Black or Filipino, and those with diabetes are at greater risk of getting very sick from Valley fever. If you have a cough, fever, or fatigue that won’t go away AND you’ve tested negative for #COVID19, ask a doctor if it could be #ValleyFever. Learn who’s most at risk: www.CouldBeValleyFever.org

Persistent cough, fever, and fatigue could be Valley fever. Doctor and patient talking in exam room.
Persistent cough, fever, and fatigue could be Valley fever. Masked doctor and patient talking in office.
Suggested message: 

Tested negative for #COVID19, but have a cough or fever that lasts longer than a week? It could be Valley fever. Talk to a doctor and tell them if you've recently been to areas where #ValleyFever is common, or if you have been in a dusty area. Learn more: www.CouldBeValleyFever.org

#ValleyFeverAwareness 

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