U of U Researchers Mapping Locations Of Valley Fever In Utah

by | Apr 2, 2024 | News | 0 comments

University of Utah Health Researchers are working to map what areas of Utah are harboring an underground fungus that causes a dangerous respiratory illness. Back in 2001, a group of archaeologists were working at a site in Dinosaur National Monument when the majority of the group fell suddenly ill and were rushed to the hospital with something resembling pneumonia. The diagnosis of Valley Fever was unexpected because at that time it was believed that the underground fungus spores that cause Valley Fever could not survive in Utah soil with the exception of a small section of land in the state’s southwest corner. Researchers obviously know now that that is not the case and an update shared on the University of Utah Health website on Monday says they have received funds to continue their study of the fungus and map out where it is lurking. The article states that people in fungus-ridden regions of the state could reduce their risk by wearing a dust mask on dry, windy days when spores are more likely to be airborne and that doctors who know the signs and symptoms of Valley fever are more likely to catch the disease early and start antifungal treatments if necessary. U of U assistant professor of epidemiology Katharine Walter, PhD, says, “Because we get sick by inhaling fungal spores that are found in the soil, people who work outside in jobs like construction, agriculture, and firefighting are at extremely high risk of infection and disease.” Learn more at UofUHealth.utah.edu

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content