Cases of an incurable illness called valley fever are multiplying at a mystifying rate in the American south-west. Six states are affected, and Mexico too, but few places have been hit as hard as one remote city.
Even in sweltering heat, the wind brings no respite to Avenal.
The gusts are warm, like a hairdryer, and they carry an invisible threat that has claimed and disrupted many lives.
The tiny city of 14,000 people, nestling in a dip in the floor of the San Joaquin Valley is what experts refer to as a "hot zone" for coccidioidomycosis - an illness caused by the inhalation of tiny fungal spores that usually reside in the soil.
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Photo courtesy of Bridget Calip, BBC News.