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Office of Binational Border Health

Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever)​

Background

Coccidioidomycosis, commonly known as Valley Fever, is a fungal disease that primarily affects those living in the southwestern states of the US. An individual may become infected by inhalation of spores present in the soil. Coccidioidomycosis has been on the rise in California since 2014. The San Diego County region has environmental factors favorable to the proliferation of Coccidioides fungi, making it a regional public health concern.

Activities

BIDS conducted enhanced surveillance for coccidioidomycosis in San Diego County from October 2014 to December 2016 to describe the characteristics and exposures of patients with coccidioidomycosis in San Diego County. The Epidemiology & Immunization Services Branch of the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency reported all coccidioidomycosis cases to BIDS. Lab results and medical records were reviewed to determine if cases could be classified as confirmed and whether they were an acute or chronic case. Any confirmed case that was classified as acute was contacted for an in-depth interview to capture detailed information on possible exposures, symptoms, hospitalization details, travel and occupational history during the incubation period.

Outcome

The demographic and clinical characteristics collected through evaluation of lab results, medical records, and patient interviews will help BIDS develop and implement targeted campaigns to reach those who are most at risk. Confirmed cases will also be mapped to the regions within San Diego County to determine if any area has an increased risk of coccidioidomycosis.

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