How Coccidioidomycosis Is Treated
Most individuals with coccidioidomycosis do not require specific treatment. Treatment with antifungal medications may be prescribed for those with more severe symptoms or symptoms lasting eight weeks or longer.
Treatment typically lasts for several months, and the length will vary depending on how well your body responds. More severe cases may require hospitalization and intravenous (IV) antifungal medication. In patients with depressed immune systems or with disease outside the lung (disseminated), lifelong treatment may be required. In very few individuals, surgery may be required to remove portions of infected or damaged lung.
Most patients recovering from Valley fever should be able to return to their everyday work and activity levels though it is also important to get plenty of rest and allow your body time to fight the infection. The disease is not contagious, meaning you can’t spread it to someone else. Lingering or worsening symptoms should be brought to your doctor’s attention promptly.
If your condition is more severe, you should stay in touch with your doctor and receive follow-up blood testing and lung imaging, such as chest X-rays or CT scans, for at least the first year. This will ensure that if you do develop chronic or disseminate infections, they are caught and treated immediately. If your doctor thinks you need additional medical attention, they may refer you to a pulmonary or infectious disease specialist, although this is less likely to happen in regions where the primary care provider is familiar with the disease.
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.
Page last updated: March 12, 2020