Monsoon Special 2012: Valley Fever threat

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by April Warnecke

Bio | Email | Follow: @AprilWarnecke

azfamily.com

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 6 at 7:24 PM

PHOENIX -- Scientists think there may be a link between Arizona's dust storms and a rise in the number of cases of Valley Fever in the state.

In the past year, there's been a 38 percent increase in Valley Fever in Arizona, although doctors don't know if those big dust storms of last summer are solely to blame or if it's also thanks to an increase in awareness and reporting.

Dust storms stir up tiny fungal spores in our desert and when you breathe that dust-filled air, you can develop Valley Fever.

Symptoms of the disease are similar to the flu but affect everyone differently.

Doctors recommend limiting your time outside during and right after a big dust storm.

This month, a new Valley Fever Center is opening at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix to help doctors and patients battling this growing disease.
 

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