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What You Should Know About Valley Fever

Know About Valley Fever
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Valley Fever is a disease caused by a soil-dwelling fungi called Coccidioides which is found mostly in California’s Central Valley, and other dry, hot regions of the Southwestern United States. The fungus grows in the soil as a filament, and you can be be exposed to Valley Fever by disturbing soil, i.e., digging or construction, etc., in regions where it is prevalent. However, most people are exposed to Valley Fever simply by inhalation; interestingly, once disturbed and thrown into the air, the fungus that causes Valley Fever can travel up to 75 miles borne on the wind. In fact, you can even be exposed to Valley Fever by flying in an airplane over regions where it is prevalent. It has even been known to travel far enough to infect sea-dwelling creatures like otters. 

Unfortunately, cases of Valley Fever have reportedly been on the rise. As an example, Kern County, just north of Los Angeles reported 1,000 cases in 2014; in 2021, that number soared to 3,000 cases. Roughly 20,000 cases were reported to the CDC in 2019; annually, Valley Fever has been known to claim around 200 lives per year. While most people exposed to Valley Fever purportedly do not become sick; as many as 40% of people might develop mild respiratory conditions, and up to 1% might have severe outcomes. These outcomes can range from respiratory symptoms, to headaches––even fungal meningitis. 

One disturbing fact is the difficulty doctors usually have in diagnosing Valley Fever; often times, a proper diagnosis can take innumerable visits to the doctor, all while patients languish with debilitating symptoms. 

While the rise in cases of Valley Fever, itself, is concerning and worth being aware of, particularly if you live in the dry, warm regions of The US in which it is prevalent, everything about Valley Fever underscores some important facts about fungal disease in general:

    • Exposure can be as simple as inhalation, or being around fungi itself. We are exposed to fungi and their poisons in many ways. 
    • Not everyone may get sick immediately; fungi often lie dormant for years in the body before causing health problems. Not everyone is affected by fungi the same.
    • Valley Fever is difficult to diagnose. Often doctors are not looking for fungal disease, so it can be easy to miss.

These same premises likely hold true with other forms of fungal disease, as well. Fungi is an insidious organism, with well-documented deleterious health effects, but fungi simply are not considered often, even in difficult to diagnose cases. As result, patients can have a hard time finding answers for why they are so sick. 

Fortunately, in many cases, a holistic, all-natural diet and regimen may be what it takes to discern if fungi are in fact causing your health problems, even if they have eluded diagnosis. This is the whole premise behind the Kaufmann Diet and Lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about starting The Kaufmann Diet for 4-6 weeks and see if you don’t find relief from symptoms that have plagued you for years. 

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