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A Disease Without a Cure Spreads Quietly in the West

July 4, 2013

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In 36 years with the Los Angeles police, Sgt. Irwin Klorman faced many dangerous situations, including one routine call that ended with Uzi fire and a bullet-riddled body sprawled on the living room floor.

But his most life-threatening encounter has been with coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever, for which he is being treated here.

Coccidioidomycosis, known as “cocci,” is an insidious airborne fungal disease in which microscopic spores in the soil take flight on the wind or even a mild breeze to lodge in the moist habitat of the lungs and, in the most extreme instances, spread to the bones, the skin, the eyes or, in Mr. Klorman’s case, the brain.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

Photo courtesy of Monica Almeida,The New York Times.