Coccidioidomycosis | American Lung Association

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Coccidioidomycosis

Coccidioidomycosis, also called valley fever, is a common infection in the southwestern United States that primarily affects the lungs.

Learn About Coccidioidomycosis

Coccidioidomycosis, commonly referred to as "valley fever," is an infection caused by a fungus (Coccidioides) found in the soil in the southwestern United States, northern Mexico and parts of Central and South America. Once inhaled, the fungus multiplies, leading to the progression and development of the disease.

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Coccidioidomycosis Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

Many people infected with coccidioidomycosis have no or minimal symptoms, and it is often misdiagnosed and treated as bacterial pneumonia, which is more common. People living in or traveling to an area where coccidioidomycosis occurs are at risk for acquiring the disease.

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Diagnosing and Treating Coccidioidomycosis

Coccidioidomycosis is diagnosed and treated differently from other causes of pneumonia. Early diagnosis and recognition of the disease are important to allow appropriate follow-up and treatment of affected individuals, as well as to avoid unnecessary treatment and tests.

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Living With Coccidioidomycosis

Most people diagnosed with coccidioidomycosis will not require therapy and the disease will go away on its own. Some people have symptoms that persist for months after resolution of the disease, while others may require prolonged treatment.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Coccidioidomycosis

See what you should ask if you think you have coccidioidomycosis, if you have been diagnosed with it, or you are traveling through an endemic region and are at risk for infection.

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This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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