It is expected that the range of Valley fever will increase significantly, UCI scientists say


Valley fever is endemic to hot and dry regions such as southwest United States and San Joaquin Valley in California, but scientists at the University of California, Irvine are predicting that climate change will exceed twice the amount of fungal infection in the century. this, coming areas that were not previously affected across the West United States

In a recent online study published in the journal of the American Geophysical Union Geo-HealthUCI interdisciplinary researchers require the list of affected states to occur from 12 to 17 in the event of high heating, and the number of separate fever cases will increase by 50% by 2100. the counties are Montana. , Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, and the disease is expected to be more widespread in Colorado, Idaho and Oklahoma.

There is a large increase in the range of Valley fever. We made projections until the end of the 21st century, and predicted that the Valley fever is traveling further north across the western United States, especially in the umbrella of the Rocky Mountains and across the Great Plains, and by the time said, of the western United States is considered to be endemach. "

Morgan Gorris, lead author and former Ph.D. student in Earth system science

Gorris was awarded a doctorate in August.

The current Valley fever fever map used by the National Disease Control and Prevention Centers is based on a skin test study conducted on the naval base of the San Diego 1940s. Using this twenty-year information as a starting point, Gorris collected health section data on Valley fever cases reported by hospitals in many Western states.

Then she and her team studied the climatic conditions in places where Valley fever is common. Counties with over 10 cases per 100,000 people found that average annual temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) and rainfall were less than 600 millimeters (23.6 inches).

"Morgan made this model based on temperature and rainfall, providing the same projections, but not exactly, where the CDC says that Valley fever is," said author James Randerson, Professor of Human Resources. Chancellor and Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Chairman in Earth Science System. "In fact, we think it could lead efforts to build a better contemporary map of where the disease poses a threat to public health."

Gorris said the study is very much focused on the expansion of Valley fever: "Temperature and precipitation are expected to change significantly in the western US. In future years, the increased temperature in dry states allows the disease to spread. "

At present, parts of California and the South West are very suitable for the cultivation of the fungus, scientifically known as Coccidioides. A drying of winter rain on dry land allows fungal growth under the surface. When the soil dries, the elongated strands of the fungi overlap in spores, some as small as 2 microns in diameter. If they are suffering from equipment moving from the ground or the boots of the workers, the particles can be rotten into the air and inhaled by people in the area.

Builders in construction and agriculture, as well as prisoners preparing roads and fighting with fires in remote areas, are highly susceptible to breathing in the airborne spores. It is a cause of public health concern as the number of cases in California and other regions is increasing over time.

Once in the lungs, the fungus varies from thread like spherules, small balls that grow and circulate in pulmonary tissues. About 40 percent of those who inhale the spores are sick. Early signs of Valley fever are similar to flu symptoms: cough, fever, chills and night sweats. For this reason, the disease is often misunderstood and cannot be treated. In high-level cases, the fungus can be spread from the lungs to other parts of the body, and skin lesions may cause limb loss.

In severe cases, the disease can travel to the brain, resulting in swelling and death. 5 per cent of people with Valley fever will have a severe form and 1 per cent will die. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with HIV are considered to be most vulnerable in severe forms of Valley fever. Filipinos and those of African descent are at increased risk. The disease disproportionately affects people in low-income communities, Randerson said.

"By the year 2100, where serious action to limit climate change does not occur, we could double the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthis disease," he said. "It is a huge expansion and particularly because Valley fever is affecting communities that have had no previous involvement throughout the West."


University of California – Irvine

Fever (t) Fungal infection (t) lungs (t) pH (t) Public Health (t) Skin


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