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Valley Fever

Valley Fever Prevention Tips

    Valley fever is caused by breathing in a fungus from dirt and dust in outdoor air, and it can be difficult to avoid breathing in dust. People who live, work, or travel in areas where Valley fever is common can try to avoid spending time outside in dusty areas as much as possible to reduce the risk of breathing in the Valley fever fungus from dust in the air. There is no vaccine to prevent Valley fever.

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:


On windy and dusty days, stay inside and keep windows and doors closed
  • Stay inside and keep windows and doors closed when it's windy outside and the air is dusty, especially during dust storms. 


When driving through a dusty area, keep car windows closed and use recirculating air
  • While driving in areas where Valley fever is common, keep car windows closed and use recirculating air, if available. 


Control dust in your yard by covering open dirt areas with plants and ground cover (like gravel)
  • 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. 


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:

Before digging, wet down dirt to reduce dust

  • Wet down soil before digging or disturbing dirt to reduce dust. 

While digging, face away from the direction that the wind is blowing

  • Stay upwind of the area where dirt is being disturbed. 

  • Consider wearing an N95 mask or respirator (cloth face masks, bandanas, surgical face masks, KN95 masks, and simple dust masks are not as protective).

Consider wearing an N 95 face mask if you must be around outdoor dust

  • 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.
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