Additionally, since valley fever is a regional disease, a physician needs regional knowledge to recognize its presence. Someone might not consider it working in New York City the way a doctor does in Las Vegas. Compounding this lack of recognition, only 26 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have classified it as something to notify public health authorities. And while California is one of the worst-hit states, second only to Arizona, wealthy tech workers in California rarely get sick. Its main victims are people who are already immunocompromised or who work outside or are exposed to warm, windy and dusty conditions: not just farm workers, but contractors, road crews, excavators and home builders laying subdivisions.
Others at risk: Military personnel assigned to southwestern bases and winter vacationers from cold northern states, all returning home to places where doctors are unlikely to recognize the disease. as I wrote NS Scientific American This summer, in 2018, epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conducting a national survey of the disease, discovered cases of in 14 states They are mostly located along the Canadian border – places too cold for infection to occur there. After revealing the patients’ previous travel, investigators realized that the individuals had been infected somewhere in the south and brought the fungus home.
“If we do come up with a vaccine, people who live in the endemic area will certainly be where to start, the immunocompromised people,” Thompson says. But it may also become a mainstay of travel medicine. It would be interesting to think about travel advisories before visiting certain locations – although I don’t imagine countries wanting to warn people about getting vaccinated before visiting.”
valley fever Estimated cost $3.9 billion annually, and according to one estimate, a vaccine could save $1.5 billion in healthcare costs each year. But that cost, and thus the urgency of getting a vaccine, is almost certain to increase as climate change expands sites where valley fever poses a risk of infection. Fungi are responsive to temperature and humidity: they need a warm environment to thrive, and in humid conditions they remain stable in the soil. But with increasing climate warming, new areas will open up for them CronidiaChanging rainfall patterns mean areas where growth has begun will dry out enough to break away and drift away. There is already a known vulnerability zone in central Washington State, a place previously thought to be too cold for mushrooms. In 2010, three people got valley fever there, including a construction worker and a teenager who were riding around in an ATV.
In 2019, Morgan Juris, an Earth system scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, used temperature and precipitation data to estimate more precisely where valley fever is endemic, based on the fungus’ known behavior in the humidity and warmth ranges. Using these findings, and combining them with various predictions of climate warming, I formulate how Valley fever may expand Under different scenarios for greenhouse gas emissions. Under the highest warming scenario (a global rise of about 9 degrees Fahrenheit), the area in which the disease could become a pandemic would double in size by 2100, covering 17 states, including Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and the Dakota. The model predicted that the number of cases would rise by half. In another analysis based on this work, it was estimated that by 2100, the cost of valley fever to the United States would reach $18.5 billion annually.
This looming law, along with the illness and death underlying it, may be the best rationale for getting to the development of a vaccine. “Climate change will exacerbate persistent threats and cause new ones,” Goris says. “We will need resources in the future to adequately combat emerging diseases. Having a vaccine against the risks of valley fever will allow us to free up resources to address other climate change issues, particularly those related to human health.”
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