|Arizona is called “Valley Fever Corridor” because its vast expanse is home to a soil and sand borne fungus called Coccidioides immitus. About 10,000 Arizonians discover just how dangerous this fungus is. According to a local physician, however, it is “vastly under-diagnosed.” Dr. John Galgiani, who is the Director of Valley Fever Excellence at the University of Arizona feels that the actual number of Coccidioides fungal infections is probably closer to 30,000 cases, not 10,000.
In an effort to raise awareness in Tuscon, Arizona, spokesperson Diana Wilkerson is hosting an upcoming event that she hopes will make her case a rarity in the near future. Diana was diagnosed with pneumonia and stage-three lung cancer two years ago. She missed one month of work and racked up about $50,000 in medical bills. Then a surgery was scheduled to remove a part of her cancerous lung. During that surgery, doctors discovered that their diagnosis was wrong. Diana has a fungal infection instead. Although her pneumonia and cancer had already been diagnosed with certainty, she discovered that “this happens a lot: People are misdiagnosed and treated with the wrong medications.”
Of course, I’ve been teaching this for over 30 years and I believe that these statistics may well represent a microcosm of mismanagement and misdiagnoses in medicine today. It would be my guess that 30% of the time, perhaps the correct bacterial pneumonia or cancer diagnosis is achieved. Remember, this is just my opinion, but I believe that 70% of the time (as is represented in this one article), fungus is the cause and physicians simply are not trained to understand or accurately diagnose the etiologies of these 2 diseases. I’ve attached the link to this article. I’d love your thoughts and will drop by often to comment! Doug