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Valley Fever Institute

The new state of the art Valley Fever Institute will open in 2020. It will be a patient centered
medical home, designed to meet the needs of patients and their families as well as caregivers.

Emergency Medicine Residency Program

Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical

Valley Fever is a serious costly illness that can be devastating to those who acquire it. In areas where Valley fever is common it is difficult to avoid exposure completely. Knowledge about Valley Fever is important to help you and your doctor recognize symptoms early and avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment.

Valley Fever is an illness caused by a fungus. The fungus lives in the soil and dirt in parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Nevada and Northwestern Mexico. In California, it’s rampant across the Central Valley and Kern County is a highly endemic area. About 30 percent of all valley fever cases nationwide occur in the Central Valley each year.

People can get Valley Fever when they breathe in spores, a form of the Valley Fever fungus. It can get inside the lungs and cause an illness that might seem like the flu. Most people who get Valley Fever have mild symptoms and often get better on their own. More severe sickness is rare, but it can be serious and even deadly.

Anyone who travels to an environment where the fungus lives are at risk for developing Valley Fever. It’s always important to take basic safety measures around soil and dirt when you work, play, or travel. Getting infected with valley fever can be as simple as driving through Bakersfield with the windows down.

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