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Valley Fever

This is an informational page, if you believe you have Valley Fever or have further questions, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department can help. You can reach them by calling 805-781-5500 or visit them online at SLOPublicHealth.org. Public Health has also developed a collaborative brochure on Valley Fever with the Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures, and that information can be found by clicking here

Valley Fever - Know the Risk, Protect Your Health

Valley Fever is a disease caused by a fungus in the soil here in San Luis Obispo County. You can reduce your risk and seek treatment if you become sick. 

What is Valley Fever? 

Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis), is a diseases that lives in the soil. When soil is disturbed by wind, construction, farming, digging, earthquakes, or other activities, the fungal spores can drift into the air. People and animals breathe in these spores and can develop Valley Fever. The spores can infect lungs, and in some cases spread to other parts of the body. In less than 1% of cases, Valley Fever can be fatal. 

According to the SLO County Public Health Department, people can get Valley Fever anywhere in San Luis Obispo County. More cases occur in the north and east parts of the county, where conditions are often more dusty and windy. Low rates in an area do not mean there is no risk. 


What should you do if you get Valley Fever?

If you may have breathed in dirt or dust and are experiencing flu-like symptoms that do not improve after several weeks, go to your health care provider and ask to be tested for Valley Fever. Be sure to tell your doctor that you may have been exposed to Valley Fever.