What to know Valley fever infection and its climate change connection | USA TODAY

Though the Valley fever pathogen isn't contagious, the fungal infection has become flesh-eating in a small fraction of patients.
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Valley fever is an infection caused by coccidioides, a fungus that generally prefers warm, arid climates and predominately lives in soil in the southwestern United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported about 20,000 cases of Valley fever in 2019. Although most cases are mild, the fungus spreads in a fraction of patients causing severe disease and death.

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