Valley Fever

Fall 2010 CSANews Issue 76  |   Posted date : Sep 17, 2010.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I have been a user of this coverage (Medipac) for the past five years during our stays at our home base while in the U.S., Apache Junction, Arizona. I became ill this February and, after some misdiagnosis, was finally identified to have Valley Fever. This illness is restricted to Arizona, California and parts of Texas and is not very well-known to northerners. Suffice to say, Medipac delivered on all its promises in spades and, for the most part, in a very professional manner. I wish to thank Medipac and its employees for their support and service. I would also suggest that you consider having a feature on Valley Fever in the health section of CSANews. Many snowbirds go to these desert areas and should be aware of Valley Fever. I am still recovering and making good progress.

William Gardner
Chilliwack, B.C. 


Response:
Ed: Thank you for your kind words, Mr. Gardner, and a speedy recovery. Valley Fever is more prevalent than we realize but, in most cases, our bodies’ immune systems deal with it effectively and we may not even know that we have had it. Valley Fever is a fungus caused by airborne spores that enter our lungs, in dust, usually when close to construction or agricultural sites. Although quite common in the Southwest, it is often not diagnosed properly, as happened in your case. If you travel in these areas, you should know that catching Valley Fever is a possibility and make sure that your doctor is aware of it, should you have symptoms such as rash, coughing, chest pain, etc. It is not contagious, but be aware that your pets could also be affected. The following website has more detailed information:

http://phoenix.about.com/cs/health/a/valleyfever01.htm

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