PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As the number of COVID-19 cases goes down in our state, another disease is on the rise: Valley Fever. Arizona's Family found that in 2021, our state is on track to have the second-highest number of Valley Fever cases within the last 15 years.
Dr. Frank Lovecchio said more construction could be causing the spike. "There are these spores or fungus in our dirt, if you aggravate the dirt by any means, dirt bike, construction, or certain gardening, the spores go out," said Dr. Frank Lovecchio.
Inhaling those spores can make people sick. While most people recover on their own, others can get chronic Valley Fever and stay sick for a long time. 'What does happen, sometimes, is it goes into your lungs and deposits other places in your body," said Lovecchio.
Lovecchio said Valley Fever can oftentimes be hard to diagnose. However, more accurate testing and awareness surrounding the disease could also be leading to the increase in cases. "Now we have Valley Fever centers here in Phoenix and Tucson. Some of the world experts are working there. Because of that, they are more aware of it, they do more education," said Lovecchio.