Valley fever is caused by breathing the fungus into the lungs. The fungus lives in the soil but is transported through the air and into the lungs, where it infects people. When soil that contains the fungus is disturbed, spores are released into the air.
The disease cannot be transmitted from person to person.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Anyone is susceptible to valley fever, but certain people are at an increased risk:
- Construction workers
- People in the military
- People with weakened immune systems (mostly for disseminated valley fever)
- Elderly people
- Women in the third trimester of pregnancy
- People who work with or who are frequently exposed to soil
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