Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic Staff
May 27, 2015
- Environmental exposure. Anyone who inhales the spores that cause valley fever is at risk of infection. 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 and Native Americans 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 and anti-rejection drugs after transplant surgery. People with certain autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's disease, who are being treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) drugs also have an increased risk of infection.
- 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.
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