Some practical tips may help prevent Valley fever —
these tips can help you avoid breathing in outdoor dust and may help reduce your risk of getting Valley fever:
- Stay inside and keep windows and doors closed when it's windy outside and the air is dusty, especially during dust storms.
- While driving in areas where Valley fever is common, keep car windows closed and use recirculating air, if available.
- Cover open dirt areas around your home with grass, plants, or other ground cover (like gravel or wood chips) to help reduce dusty, open areas.
Try to avoid dusty areas outside, like construction or excavation sites. If you cannot avoid these dusty areas, or if you must be outdoors in dusty air, consider wearing an N95 respirator, which is a type of face mask. Bandanas, surgical face masks, and simple dust masks (with only one strap) do NOT protect against Valley fever.
When digging or stirring up dust in areas where Valley fever is common —
you can help protect yourself from breathing in dust that may cause Valley fever:
- Stay upwind of the area where dirt is being disturbed.
- Wet down soil before digging or disturbing dirt to reduce dust.
- Consider wearing an N95 mask or respirator (bandanas, surgical face masks, and simple dust masks are NOT protective).
- After returning indoors, change out of clothes if covered with dirt. Be careful not to shake out clothing and breathe in the dust before washing. If someone else is washing your clothes, warn the person before they handle the clothes.