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Acute Communicable Disease Control

    

Acute Communicable Disease Control


Contact Information
County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Acute Communicable Disease Control
313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 212
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 240-7941
Fax: (213) 482-4856
E-Mail:acdc2@ph.lacounty.gov
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Acute Communicable Disease Control
Coccidiodomycosis (coc·cid·i·oi·do·myco·sis) also known as Valley Fever

Coccidioidomycosis, or Valley Fever, is a common fungal disease transmitted through the inhalation of Coccidioides immitis spores that are carried in dust. Environmental conditions conducive to an increased occurrence of coccidioidomycosis are as follows: arid to semi-arid regions, dust storms, lower altitude, hotter summers, warmer winters, and sandy, alkaline soils. It is endemic in the southwestern US and parts of Mexico and South America. Southern California is a known endemic area.

Many infected individuals exhibit no symptoms or have a mild respiratory illness, but some individuals develop a severe illness such as pneumonia, meningitis, or dissemination when the fungus spreads to many parts of the body. Because of the wide range of clinical presentations, only the most severe cases are usually reported to the health department. Laboratory diagnosis is made by demonstrating the fungus with microscopic examination or culture or by serologic testing. Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Filipinos, males, pregnant women, the very young (<5 years), elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are at high risk for severe disease.
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