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valley fever

Valley fever symptoms

    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.

Most people (about 6 in 10) who are infected with Valley fever have no symptoms, and their bodies will fight off the infection naturally.

People who do get sick with Valley fever can have respiratory symptoms or pneumonia because the Valley fever fungus usually infects the lungs. Common symptoms that may develop 1 to 3 weeks after breathing in the fungus include: fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, fever, night sweats, muscle or joint pain, chest pain, weight loss, headache, and rash. 

Symptoms of Valley Fever

Most common symptoms of Valley fever: fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, and fever.

    Valley fever can affect people in different ways. Some people with Valley fever may only have mild symptoms that get better on their own in a few weeks. In others, symptoms like fatigue can take longer to go away and can last for several months.

Disseminated Valley Fever

In rare cases, Valley fever can cause severe infections in the lungs or in other parts of the body (called disseminated disease).

People with severe Valley fever may need to be hospitalized, and they will likely need follow-up medical care for several months or even years. If Valley fever infects the brain (called meningitis), a person will probably need lifelong treatment. In very rare cases, severe Valley fever can be fatal.

Disseminated Valley fever usually causes infections in the skin, bones, joints, or brain, and severe symptoms can include:

  • Skin lesions

  • Bone or joint pain

  • Severe headaches

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