Valley fever is a condition caused by fungal infection by the coccidioides organisms. Mild cases of this condition subside on their own without treatment. This condition can result to chest pain, fever, breathlessness, coughing, and difficulty in breathing.
This species of fungi is present in the soil in certain regions. Anything that distracts the soil such as farming, wind and construction makes it easier for the fungi to enter the atmosphere. The spores are very tiny and can travel hundreds of miles with the help of the wind. People can breathe in the air which is contaminated with the coccidioides organisms and then enters the lungs. The spores will reproduce and complete the disease cycle. Valley fever usually begins as a severe infection but it can develop into a chronic once that can spread to other parts of the body.
People with jobs that require them to dig soil are at high risk for developing valley fever. People riding bikes or driving all-terrain vehicles have a high risk of acquiring this condition. Valley fever is not a contagious condition. After recovery, some people will not acquire the condition again in which they are considered immune. In some cases, though, especially those who have a weakened immune system such as HIV and those who have undergone organ transplant can develop the condition again.
Symptoms of valley fever
- Chest pain
- Fever with chills
- Sweating at night
- Pain in the joints
- Rashes that are red and development of painful bumps which eventually turns brown in appearance
- Red rash with blisters or pimples
If there are painful and swollen joints, development of large nodules, skin lesions and ulcers, it is vital to seek medical care as soon as possible.
- Take plenty of rest to promote fast healing.
- Use the prescribed anti-fungal medication if symptoms do not improve and becomes severe.
- Take plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Supplement the diet with proteins such as milk, soy milk, yogurt and barley water. Proteins can boost the immune system and eliminate the fungus in the body.
- In a glass filled with hot water, mix a tablespoon of turmeric powder and drink this solution at least 3 times every day. Turmeric has anti-fungal properties and the curcumin eliminates the fungus in the body effectively.
- Increase the intake of Vitamin C either with supplements or eating foods rich in vitamin C such as lemons, oranges, limes, sweet limes, papayas and mangoes.
- Boil 5-10 leaves of holy basil in a cup of water and add a tablespoon of honey and drink this mixture. This mixture reduces the fever and eliminates the fungal infection effectively.
- Stay indoors during dust storms
- Wear a mask
- Before digging in soil, wet it first to drown the spores
- Close doors and windows tightly