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Cases Of Mysterious Valley Fever Rise In American Southwest

May 13, 2013

When she was just 6, Emily Gorospe became very tired and sick. The spunky girl, now 8, developed a fever that wouldn't go away, and red blotches appeared across her body.

"She's got so much energy usually," says Emily's mother, Valerie Gorospe. "Just walking from one part of the house ... she was drained." The little girl was also very pale. "She just didn't look like herself," Valerie recalls.

Emily, who lives in Delano, in the Central Valley, was eventually diagnosed with valley fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis. She's one of an estimated 150,000 people nationwide who get the fungal disease every year. There is no cure and no vaccine.

Listen to the full feature on NPR.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Casarez, Vida en el Valle/Reporting on Health Collaborative.