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Valley fever can be difficult to diagnose. It resembles influenza in many ways, but its effects typically last a lot longer, sometimes for up to six months. Research shows that at least 25 percent of community-acquired pneumonias diagnosed in ambulatory patients in Arizona are caused by Valley fever.
Work is being done to improve diagnostics of the illness, and that was part of the discussion at a conference over the weekend. Dr. John Galgiani is a University of Arizona professor and the director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence. He said misdiagnosis of Valley fever remains a challenge.