CDC: Valley Fever cases skyrocket in Southwest

The number of Valley Fever fungal infection cases in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah rose from 2,265 in 1998 to more than 22,000 in 2011, CDC officials reported on Thursday. Arizona accounted for 66% of cases and has recorded the greatest caseload increase from approximately 1,500 to more than 16,000. Valley Fever is caused by exposure to fungal spores in soil, making exposure difficult to avoid, according to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

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