Arizona Sees Big Drop In Valley Fever Cases
Valley fever cases in Arizona dropped dramatically last year. State health officials attribute the change to a shift in testing methods, but possibly other factors, too.
The Department of Health Service's annual valley fever report said there were 5,861 cases in Arizona in 2013. That’s less than half the number of cases reported in 2012, when a state lab changed its practices.
There was a major increase in Arizona cases after the same lab changed its practices in 2009. The report said other contributing factors may include migration, increased testing and climate changes. Valley fever is caused by a fungus found in soil and can be contracted by breathing in the spores from dust. It can cause flu-like symptoms and is common in Arizona and Southern California.