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Valley Fever Survivor provides a great deal of important information about coccidioidomycosis and the devastation it has caused in Arizona, California, the Desert Southwest, and all around the world. Please click the items in this section to learn more! Visit our home page to read updates at the front page and view our introductory video
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The Endemic Area Maps with Valley Fever History

The map below shows areas of the United States in red where mass testing revealed coccidioidomycosis as an endemic disease.  It's important to note that

A) Two thirds of all VF cases are contracted in Arizona, with Phoenix and Tucson as the two most affected cities.
B) Kern County (Bakersfield) is the most endemic area in California.
C) There are also endemic areas in Central America, South America, and northwestern Mexico.
D) Environmental conditions have been known to blow spores hundreds of miles out of their original endemic areas to cause infections.
E) Mass testing has not been repeated for half a century.

The next map shows areas the U.S. Geological Survey has identified as endemic to Coccidioides fungus. Notice the green X at the Dinosaur National Monument site in Utah, far to the north of previously established endemic areas. All ten of the workers at a DNM archeological site on June 19, 2001 became ill with Valley Fever. The exact location of cocci's growth could not be pinpointed for this particular outbreak, but it is suspected to grow near Utah's X. Recently confirmed Washington State soil samples were in Walla Walla, Benton, Franklin, and Yakima counties.

It is very common for people with a travel history to endemic areas to have their Valley Fever cases diagnosed elsewhere. However, soil testing had only recently confirmed the fungus in Washington State east of the Cascades. Initial consideration of the possibilities behind this discovery are noted in this link. Valley Fever Survivor will keep you updated as new developments arise.

Areas of possible or suspected areas of growth that had not been considered until the discovery in Washington state are shown in pink.

A discussion of this outbreak occured in the 2014 interview Valley Fever Survivor Co-Founder David Filip had with Dr. Tom Chiller, MD, MPHTM, Deputy Chief of the Centers for Disease Control's Mycotic Diseases Branch.

Valley Fever spores had also been found in Oregon in 2016. Sharon and David were interviewed for this new article about the recent discovery of soil samples with Valley Fever in Oregon. This article by Markian Hawryluk at The Bulletin is a must read!

If you visit or live at or near an endemic area to this fungus, pay close attention to the environmental conditions mentioned in our Dawn to Dusk page!   The maps above were created by Valley Fever Survivor based on source material from the U.S. Geological Survey and Edwards and Palmer. Edwards PQ, Palmer CE. Prevalence of sensitivity to coccidioidin, with special reference to specific and nonspecific reactions to coccidioidin and to histoplasmin. Dis Chest. 1957 Jan;31(1):35-60.

Coccidioidomycosis was first discovered in the early 1890’s in Domingo Ezcurra, an Argentinean soldier.  Some pathologists believed his skin conditions were the result of cancer.  After tissue biopsies his illness was thought to resemble the protozoan coccidia, often found in chickens. To this day the name of coccidioidomycosis still represents this early misdiagnosis. The Ezcurra case was followed for eleven years and he ultimately died of his illness. 

By 1900 coccidioidomycosis was established as a fungal disease.  After an outbreak in the 1930’s in the San Joaquin Valley of California, this disease was given its nickname “San Joaquin Valley Fever,” often shortened further to “Valley Fever.”  The disease threatened national security during World War II when thousands of American soldiers became sickened while training in the Southwest. It even affects our military today -- as seen during a 2002 Navy Seal training exercise in California when 45% of the squad fell ill. There is still no cure for coccidioidomycosis and no vaccine, but we are working to change that.  Be a voice for action! 

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