Increase in Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) infections in Monterey County, California, USA

Monterey County officials are concerned regarding an increase in cases of Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) in the Salinas Valley and South County. So far, there have been 73 cases or almost twice the number reported in 2015. Some patients have been hospitalized. The increase was noticed starting in October, near the start of Valley Fever season, which occurs from September through March in the Monterey region.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Valley Fever.

Advice For Travellers

It is difficult to prevent inhalation of the fungal spores that cause this infection in areas where they live in the soil and dust, but the risk of getting Valley Fever is low, even in dusty areas. People who are at increased risk include people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and diabetes.

Travellers who might be susceptible can minimize the risk of exposure by avoiding areas with lots of dust (construction or excavation sites), staying inside and closing the windows during dust storms, avoiding activities that have close contact with dirt or dust (gardening or digging), and cleaning skin injuries well with soap and water.

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