• Environmental exposure. Anyone who inhales the spores that cause valley fever is at risk of infection. Some experts estimate that up to half the people living in areas where valley fever is common have been infected. People who have jobs that expose them to dust are most at risk — construction, road and agricultural workers, ranchers, archeologists, and military personnel on field exercises.
  • Race. For reasons that aren't well understood, Filipinos, Hispanics, blacks, Native Americans and Asians are more susceptible to developing serious infection with coccidioidomycosis than are whites.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women are vulnerable to more serious coccidioidomycosis during the third trimester, and new mothers are vulnerable right after their babies are born.
  • Weakened immune system. Anyone with a weakened immune system is at increased risk of serious complications. This includes people living with AIDS or those being treated with steroids, chemotherapy or anti-rejection drugs after transplant surgery. People with cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma also have an increased risk.
  • Age. Older adults are more likely to develop valley fever. This may be because their immune systems are less robust or because they have other medical conditions that affect their overall health.
Jul. 06, 2012

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