Why Valley Fever Is Spreading So Very, Very Quickly
Cases of the dangerous and sometimes fatal condition known as valley fever have tripled in the past decade. In fact, Mother Nature Network reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have dubbed it a "silent epidemic." Fewer than 1,500 cases were reported in California in 2001; by 2017 that number had risen to more than 14,364 with a spike to more than 20,000 cases in 2011. Also known as San Joaquin Valley fever or desert rheumatism, it isn't a virus or bacterial condition. Rather, it's a particular fungus which is common in dry, dusty areas. The CDC says some scientists are looking into changing weather patterns and hotter temperatures, which may have helped the airborne fungus to spread outside its normal range.
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