Valley Fever Under a Changing Climate




Howard, Madelynn

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This review summarizes studies on relationships between climate change and Valley Fever (VF), a potentially fatal respiratory fungal infection. Climate change could enhance the frequency and intensity of dust storms and droughts over the Southwest US, which facilitate the spread and increase the growth of Coccidioides. In California, cases of VF surged fivefold between 2001 and 2021, and are expected to further increase due to various climate factors promoting the spread of the disease. Annual deaths of VF in the US vary but are projected to rise due to increased infections, emphasizing a potential threat to public health. Our study also highlights the expansion of VF endemic regions in the US. This review underscores that additional studies on VF and its relationship with climate are imperative to inform environmental and medical interventions for safeguarding public health in the face of climate change.



Valley fever., Coccidioidomycosis., Climate change., Public health., Respiratory disease., Fungi., Dust.