Valley Fever: The Mysterious Illness Affecting Farm Workers | NBC News

Valley Fever: The Mysterious Illness Affecting Farm Workers | NBC News


Many have heard of valley fever but they don’t know the details, they don’t know it’s increasing. They don’t know how bad it can become. Imelda is not alone. A potentially deadly virus known as valley fever is hitting california farm workers hard in the central valley. I see at least three to four patients with valley fever every single week.
Imelda is not alone. A potentially deadly virus known as valley fever is hitting california farm workers hard in the central valley. Imelda is not alone. A potentially deadly virus known as valley fever is hitting california farm workers hard in the central valley. Valley fever is very common disease in the area. The fungus is known as coccidioidomycosis, and it grows in the soil typically found in dry areas such as in the Southwestern United States, parts of Mexico and Central and South America. Valley Fever often goes undiagnosed, since its symptoms tend to present as the flu. They can be as mild as muscle aches or as severe as widespread infections that affect the lungs and kidneys. In 2012 is when I was notified that my kidneys had failed and I needed to start dialysis. Come on, you’ll come in in a little bit, let me just connect. You have to load the set and this is going to be connected to the toliet. This is the most important part. Do it fast. This takes me about 15 minutes. We have to prep the machine. Look, you’ll start seeing the liquid. So I just get ready for bed or watch T.V. And stay here until 10 hours later when the machine is ready for me to disconnect. In 2017 there were 14,364 reported cases of Valley Fever. The CDC believe that could be as many as 150,000 more undiagnosed cases per year. On average there were approximately 200 deaths associated with the illness each year in the U.S. from 1999 to 2016. When I tell a patient that I’m suspecting Vally Fever they say oh no. So they heard somebody or they know already somebody, or a relative, a friend, a coworker, that has or has had Valley Fever and they afraid to get it. In many cases the fungus continues to live in the body. It may remain dormant and could come back at any point. According to the CDC, Valley Fever can affect anyone but pregnant women, people with diabetes, HIV and the elderly are all at higher risk. The best defense is to stay healthy. One of the things as a farmworker, there’s so many factors, so even if you eat healthy everyday you’re going into a field that was probably does to its so much pesticide and you’re breathing that in.
One of the things as a farmworker, there’s so many factors, so even if you eat healthy everyday you’re going into a field that was probably does to its so much pesticide and you’re breathing that in. if you live in an unincorporated community. Where the water is not clean to drink, but you’re still showering in it. You’ll still be exposed to that water. We live in food silo, food desserts, right? So how are you gonna eat healthy? It’s really difficult, I think, to say that you’re gonna stay so healthy because your environment doesn’t provide that for you. Isabel was diagnosed with Valley fever twice. The first time in 2007. And again in 2008 where it was far more severe. So we met on a dating site. Our fourth date was in the hospital. Doctors told my family that she has two weeks to live and we are going to just send her home and stop her medication, all we can do is relieve her pain. The two weeks ended on a Friday and I remember telling my mom, you know I still feel like today isn’t my last day and I got better and here I am. He died his hair. I was very lucky that after the second time, I survived. Isabel, the daughter of a farm worker directs a small nonprofit, El Quinto Sol de America, which advocates for farm workers and others, living in unincorporated communities. Working with farm workers that have Vally Fever, I can really relate. Their main goal is to provide for their family. To ensure that their children have a good future. Sometimes I’ll be talking to a farm worker they tell me,” Oh you know, I’m having these symptoms.” And my first thing is,” Have you been tested for Valley fever? You should go get tested for valley fever.”
Sometimes I’ll be talking to a farm worker they tell me,” Oh you know, I’m having these symptoms.” Sometimes I’ll be talking to a farm worker they tell me,” Oh you know, I’m having these symptoms.” People should care about valley fever because the pathogen might expand it’s territory because of climate change and because of ongoing construction in areas where the pathogen is established. These are new orchards that I think should not have been allowed to be planted there. Pesticides have removed all the underlying vegetation, so it’s bare soil, and you can see that this is a dust hazard. In the soil, are typical soils for sites where we had found the Valley Fever fungus in other areas close to here. I will analyze it in the laboratory at CSUB to see if the Valley Fever fungus is growing in the soil. This dust hazard is not just a hazard for people here. The wind can pick it up, bring it to other areas. Everybody who has a lung is potentially at risk. Dr. Antje Lauer stresses that with climate change the threat of valley fever is only going to expand in the coming years. And understanding the risks and effects is essential for informing a vulnerable population.

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100 thoughts on “Valley Fever: The Mysterious Illness Affecting Farm Workers | NBC News”

  • catalinacurio says:

    This is why we need to ensure we work with other countries to research such viruses and to ensure there is adequate funding. 😔

  • Richard Ralph Roehl says:

    I suffered 'Valley Fever' when I was attending college. 'Valleys' were all over the campus… and they caused a lot of fever.

  • Fungi have very strange ways of hurting other organisms, read about other fungi and you can get a better picture…it seems that fungi are proliferating these days. The doctor getting soil samples was not wearing an N-95 mask yet she knew the fungus was present (most likely) so there's the first step, protect yourselves and not wait for a boss or the government to help you. I care about these people and they are taking a job to work on the farms that provide food for America, and they are good people, but protect yourselves, don't wait for others to make it a law…You know, although I have heard horror stories of bad water, pesticides causing harm and other occasions of fungi harm, but this is the first time I heard this SO will it spread to China too, or Africa? I wish people were proactive enough to protect themselves.

  • Herbicides is what removed the underlying weeds, think Roundup!!! Are these crops GMO..,genetically modified to accept herbicides and absorb them without being affected by them? Pesticides is what removed insects. Sad for these people who work so hard!

  • Hector Morales says:

    The real cause of this is Nutrient deficiencies and diet. If every one of these people were supplementing their diet with multi vitamins, and most importantly iodine. Our bodies are perfectly capable of fighting toxins and bio fungal organisms like this. Our bodies can do amazing healing work we just need to give it the vidonutrients it needs to do it

  • Logical Conservative says:

    Let's not mention the millions of unchecked and unvacinated people sneaking across the southern border with zero accountability, who've helped usher back in more than 6 medieval diseases back into California and other areas.

  • Ezequiel Alvarez says:

    OMG, I think my son has this…..it all makes sense now….all his symptoms and near death fevers, his lungs never heal…..he was born in South Nevada….I always thouht he cought something from the dry dust in Nevada when he was a baby…..19 years of sickness later…..thanks for making this public….now we can get his blood tested to see if antifungal med could help him have a better quality life.

  • ZeroFu*ksGiven says:

    I've only ever personally known one person to have legit "Valley Fever" and he contracted it working out in the oil fields near Belridge. My understanding is that it's been around forever and that there is a treatment for it. He breathed it in and it lodged in his lung causing him health issues for a couple years. Actual cases used to be VERY rare.

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  • I was diagnosed with Valley Fever in 2014. It put me the hospital it affected me so bad. My nervous system to this day is still affected, with severe pain over most of my body. To this day I still test positive for the reactive, but luckily not the active test.

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  • knight toking says:

    Good God! Valley Fever is not a mystery! It is a fungus that becomes airborne during certain times of the year. Bakersfield is known as Valley Fever Central. I had it as a child. Many of all ages breathe it in and it starts in the lungs then spreads from there.

  • This is affecting agricultural workers, this could be the result of pesticides are a disease transferred from livestock to human.

  • My brother had this all his life. It started when he was in his early 20's working construction. Dr.'s had a difficult time dx this illness back in the early 90's. He had it to the 3rd stage and had received all the antibiotics he would ever receive in his life time. The antibiotics was delivered intervenes for 3 months, every other day. It was torture. Later in life, he lost all his hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and basically looked like a cancer patient , his body also lost all his natural testosterone early in life. My brother moved away from the valley at the recommendation of a Dr. out of Bakersfield, who at the time was the only one around who knew anything about it. The Dr . recommended to move to cool / fresh sea air aka by the coast or mountains, which is where my brother mostly lived. My brother died at the young age of 51. My brother was not born in the valley. It is serious and can affect many different parts of your body.

  • Frontal Lobotomy says:

    My mother in law was a nurse at mayo in phoenix az and has seen many cases of valley fever over the years. Its common in Arizona

  • Dancers ByTheSea says:

    In 1985, my late husband contracted Valley Fever at the age of 30. His symptoms were high fever, head aches, and vomiting. It took the doctors one month to figure out what he had. A doctor finally took a spinal tap and his spinal fluid was cloudy. Upon testing the fluid, it was discovered that the cocci had disseminated to his spinal fluid and brain. The spore was growing on the base of his brain causing inflammation and severe headaches. He was a triathlete and prior to getting ill, he would ride his bike along many of the fields in the area. We assumed that with all of the hours of riding and running he must have breathed in some spores at some point. A knowledgeable doctor, Paul Williams in Visalia, CA, began treating him trying a unique and different approach. My husband suddenly got better with good lab results and we were all excited that he would be fine and he was for about a year, then exactly a year later, it came back with a vengeance and he suffered horribly for 4 months until he died. This is a nasty disease and if your body doesn't have the ability to fight it, you will succumb. I would never wish this on anyone.

  • American G.D.A. says:

    This is part of AGENDA 21!
    How is this person, getting fat?
    Does the disease make that happen or is it poor choice of eating habits?

  • same is happening in cannabis.. chemicals are killing Americans for profit.since it only affects a small percentage.its not looked at.

  • I lived in Arizona from 2005-2019. I got Valley Fever in 2009 and almost died from it. Doctors discovered it in time before it did irreversible damage and killed me. For months and months I had various symptoms. Was in and out of the emergency room multiple times. It made me lose 30 pounds. You don't want to have VF!!

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  • Don't forget your pets. After moving to Tucson, one of my older dogs got Valley Fever. The meds used for her were the same as for human so I got them at our local big box. My Brother in law got it as well. It was so severe, but removed half of his right lung. Before he died he was told that his only chance would be a heart/lung transplant, but he was too sick to be put on the list. They were putting something like tampons in the holes in his lungs periodically and removing the old one. One day, he got home from his little job he had at the time, took off his prosthetic left leg (from a motorcycle accident), poured himself a cold drink and laid down on the couch. His cooler was turned off but apparently, it was cool in his trailer. He fell asleep and never woke up.( He and I were the same age,and we were under 60 back then.) His body was found a week after he died. Family were discouraged from going in to see him before the coroner took him. It was August and his cooler was off, so it was over 100 degrees in his trailer when they found him. It's and awful disease

  • Norma Lundgren says:

    Valley Fever is not a virus. It is a fungal infection caused by two varieties of coccidioides (kok-sid-e-OY-deze).

  • https://riordanclinic.org/2014/02/high-dose-intravenous-vitamin-c-as-a-successful-treatment-of-viral-infections/

    High-dose Intravenous Vitamin C as a Successful Treatment of Viral Infections
    Fred Klenner Do you know that injections of mega doses of vitamin C were successfully used in treating polio, diphtheria, herpes zoster (shingles), herpes simplex, chicken pox, influenza, measles, mumps, and viral pneumonia in the middle of the 20th century? Most of these treatments are described in the book “Injectable Vitamin C: Effective Treatment for Viral and Other Diseases.”

    This book is a tribute to and acknowledgment of the important thinking and work of Dr. Fred R. Klenner and other physicians and researchers who worked in medicine from the 1930s to the 1970s. They made the pioneering efforts on the medical use of injectable vitamin C in the treatment of viral infection. One of the first studies in the inactivation of poliomyelitis virus in an in vitro setting using crystalline vitamin C (ascorbic acid) was designed by C. W. Jungeblut, MD in 1935.

    In 1949, Dr. Klenner reported successful treatment of polio, diphtheria, herpes zoster, herpes simplex, chicken pox, influenza, measles, mumps, and viral pneumonia with injections of large doses of vitamin C. “The results,” he wrote, “which we have reported in virus diseases using vitamin C as the antibiotic may seem fantastic.”

    In the poliomyelitis epidemic in North Carolina in 1948, 60 cases of this disease came under his care. The treatment employed was vitamin C in massive doses. It was given like any other antibiotic every two to four hours. The initial dose was 1000 to 2000 mg, depending on age. This schedule was followed for 24 hours. After this time the fever was consistently down, so the vitamin C was given 1000 to 2000 mg every six hours for the next 48 hours. All patients were clinically well after 72 hours.

    http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v12n12.shtml

    What can history tell doctors about meningitis? In 1949 Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner was a family doctor in North Carolina when the great poliomyelitis epidemic struck North America. Klenner had no training in treating polio and no laboratory facilities. But he was placed in charge of 60 patients suffering from early polio. At that time there was no specific treatment to prevent paralysis.

    In 1948 Klenner had previously cured several patients of viral pneumonia using intravenous vitamin C. So he decided to give his polio patients up to 30,000 milligrams of vitamin C intravenously for 14 days. None of these patients developed paralysis. (Ironically, in 1949 I developed polio in my final year at The Harvard Medical School and I did develop paralysis. But none of my eminent professors were aware of the benefit of massive doses of intravenous vitamin C).

    Dr. Klenner presented this monumental research to the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 10th 1949. Klenner should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. But his discovery failed to make headlines around the world and is still collecting dust.

    Spurred on by this scientific finding, Klenner later reported that he had cured meningitis, encephalitis, measles and other diseases by large doses of IV vitamin C. Since his death other researchers have verified his findings.

    Klenner stressed that dangerously ill patients should receive large doses of vitamin C when doctors need more time to make a diagnosis. And that, unless our white blood cells, needed to fight infection, are saturated with vitamin C they are like soldiers without bullets. I believe his sage advice could save lives today and might have saved the life of this child.

  • http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v12n12.shtml

    What can history tell doctors about meningitis? In 1949 Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner was a family doctor in North Carolina when the great poliomyelitis epidemic struck North America. Klenner had no training in treating polio and no laboratory facilities. But he was placed in charge of 60 patients suffering from early polio. At that time there was no specific treatment to prevent paralysis.

    In 1948 Klenner had previously cured several patients of viral pneumonia using intravenous vitamin C. So he decided to give his polio patients up to 30,000 milligrams of vitamin C intravenously for 14 days. None of these patients developed paralysis. (Ironically, in 1949 I developed polio in my final year at The Harvard Medical School and I did develop paralysis. But none of my eminent professors were aware of the benefit of massive doses of intravenous vitamin C).

    Dr. Klenner presented this monumental research to the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 10th 1949. Klenner should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. But his discovery failed to make headlines around the world and is still collecting dust.

    Spurred on by this scientific finding, Klenner later reported that he had cured meningitis, encephalitis, measles and other diseases by large doses of IV vitamin C. Since his death other researchers have verified his findings.

    Klenner stressed that dangerously ill patients should receive large doses of vitamin C when doctors need more time to make a diagnosis. And that, unless our white blood cells, needed to fight infection, are saturated with vitamin C they are like soldiers without bullets. I believe his sage advice could save lives today and might have saved the life of this child.

  • What we need is Whitehouse fever so we can wipe out the vermin that inhabit it
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  • Farmers love to hire Mexicans for 2 reasons. 1 they are hard workers 2 don't ask what harmful chemicals are used on plants and on them.

  • This is a propaganda piece. The woman says they dont give them anything for protection like a mask when it is common sense to get it oneself. Then they go on to misinform by saying it stays dormant in the body. It is fungus not a virus. Of course they have to throw in the threat of the pathogen expanding because of climate change. This woman with her German accent says she doesn't think it was good to plant an orchard but goes on to blame the pesticides. So which is it the pesticides or the orchard. To top it all off she complains about it being a dust hazard for the University. Then in the end it reverts back to climate change with a side of ostensibly helping vulnerable people. It is all a crock of baloney perpetrated by the UN and New World Order communist psychopaths. The chemtrails and their diabolical schemes is the only threat to this planet.! Anyone ever hear of insurance scam create the problem then get paid for the solution.

  • If you have Valley Fever this machine will help. https://www.facebook.com/Photon-Genius-185921648086486/?__tn__=%2CdK-R-R-R&eid=ARBdDhRJlohGt8iY2Y2kqGOxPTIEmI9EsN0-p3pLPSfw2vjnRXFolUhULP0HjzYLqcEF8XFC4KD7iw3Z&fref=mentions

  • Daniel Madden says:

    May Jehovah hear your prayers and bless your efforts to live clean and safe lives. These people work hard and humble lives it is criminal to put their lives in danger from toxic chemical poisen. I have gardened for many years never once using any chemical or fertalizer, I only composted soil, or added horse goat and chicken manuer, the soil became richer, you can work soil to death or work it to life. Ask Jehovah for his wisdom and blessing.

  • I grew up in Arizona and had Valley Fever when I was young. I almost died from it. To this day I still have lung issues because of it.

  • The 80's had an increase of valley fever in southern California because of all of the construction work and drought. The dust devils, dust storms, were really bad.

  • Bandit Eastlick says:

    Does Mexico have an EPA? Is this Mexico dry begging for America to Annex the entire country and step in and do something for them? I think if we're going to invest we should own it

  • Cynthia Hawkins says:

    When I went out to Tucson for the first time, in the 1960's to visit my Dad and step-mum, they told me about Valley fever. It may have been a different strain of the illness back then, but my folks were concerned enough to let me know. Of course being a 'smart New Yorker", I just rolled my eyes.

  • New Hope Rising says:

    Arizona State University has a department dedicated to the study of this fungus. Huge wind storms also contribute to its distribution.

  • New Hope Rising says:

    It’s not so mysterious, been around a long time. However it’s been kept quiet, though, so I am glad to see this awful fungus is getting more media attention.

  • Valley Fever in Arizona has been recognized for decades . Even your dog can get valley fever and die if not treated .

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  • Not surprising due to the huge number of chemicals farm workers are expressed to daily.  When you eat animal flesh and non organic foods you are consuming the same poisons.

  • it is gods punishment
    most of these lessor beings voted for the trump
    they get what they deserve
    this is not the last… you chose the devil, god hates you now… keep dying

  • what a horrible disease – I know about dialysis because my husband was on it for 5 years until he died – and I know the dialysis caused his peripheral vascular disease which in the end, caused his demise along with critically needing an aortic valve replacement, that I believe also was caused from the dialysis – so if this fungus causes damage to the kidneys, that's terrible – I do believe it's all the pesticides that these workers inhale and also come into contact with it in their homes – something should be done immediately to protect these workers – even a face mask isn't enough for this fungus is being absorbed through the skin and hair – never heard of this virus until I watched your presentation – thank you for making us aware of this terrible fungus –

  • After I moved to Phoenix I read about Valley Fever and that the German's in WWII called putting POWs in the Southwest against the Geneva convention.

  • voiceless void says:

    1 the fungus doesnt DESTORY farms humans do 2 when u enslave something chances of it dieing off from wars bc of humans other animals bugs etc. Is extremely high 3 nothings happy enslaved

  • The US is being hit with tropical diseases that it barely encountered before.
    Thank you climate change. Thank you Exxon, BP, Shell, Chevron, etc etc etc
    Yet more costs of the using fossil fuels. Time to kick the oil habit.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6031605/
    https://www.lung.org/about-us/blog/2017/07/how-climate-change-has-led-to-an-increase-in-valley-fever.html

  • Almudena Carnero says:

    Alo alo alo pli el se fue con to como da de pena españa me que el otro. Estuvo esto no veían ay ok grc saludos mundo.

  • Almudena Carnero says:

    A darán es humor ok hace falta comedia ok darán los morancos y otros que huvo ay algunos ok en el mundo ok grc en BBB arriba arriba arriba. A de les my mango es una fruta y dire. Ok s le manga. Unos dibujos y una manga pstelera ay un lugar esta cerca de Benidorm la manga menor. Saludos grc mundo

  • Pinup Girl Pepper Jam says:

    What are Corporate Farming Companies doing to help there workers. As always profits come before workers. They are easily replaceable in the eyes of the greedy.

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