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Valley Fever Causes Concern in Central California

May 7, 2013

California and federal public health officials issued an alert that a dust-borne disease known as valley fever has been on the rise.

Valley fever is contracted by simply breathing in fungus-laced spores from dust blowing in the wind. The disease, which is potentially lethal, has hit California's agricultural heartland particularly hard in recent years, with incidence dramatically increasing in 2010 and 2011.

"Research has shown that when soil is dry and it is windy, more spores are likely to become airborne in endemic areas," said Dr. Gil Chavez, Deputy Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the California Department of Public Health.

The symptoms are flu-like, and in some cases, it can spread from the lungs to the brain, bones and skin.

Read the full article on the ABC7 Eyewitness News website.