A silent epidemic is spreading throughout the Southwestern United States. 

Coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever, is a fungal disease which takes flight with the wind and can be inhaled into the lungs and spread throughout the body. The disease has been known to spread in the bones, skin, eyes or even the brain.

The disease is most commonly spread throughout California and Arizona, but has been found all over the southwest. The disease is named after the San Joaquin Valley, where it is most commonly found. A judge ordered 2,600 inmates to transfer out of the area because it is so high risk.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that anyone can get this disease if you have traveled throughout California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

PBS states that valley fever is not contagious, but symptoms of the disease are common to symptoms of the flu.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain

If you are showing symptoms of valley fever, contact your local health provider immediately. Anyone can get this disease so be aware of your health, especially if you are traveling or live in the southwest.