Study To Examine Most Effective Drug For Valley Fever

September 24, 2013

Federal health officials have announced a major study of valley fever in the hope of learning the best way to treat the potentially deadly illness. At a symposium on valley fever this week, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the clinical trial will involve about 1000 patients with the most common form of the illness.

The Bakersfield Californian reports half of them will get an antibiotic for bacterial pneumonia and a placebo. The other half will get the antibiotic and an antifungal drug often used to fight valley fever. Health officials hope to learn whether the antifungal drug helps patients recover.

Many people who get valley fever do not know they have it, but about 40 percent of patients get flu-like symptoms or have more serious reactions. In severe cases, Valley fever can cause death. It is common in Arizona, California and Mexico.

The new study is not expected to start for at least a year.

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