Budster's information on Valley Fever

(DISCLAIMER) I AM NOT A DOCTOR, all information contained on this page is based on my personal experience, everyone's body is different, reacts differently, whatever... but why not listen, something I might have said could help, hopefully not hurt! Always listen to your doctor. BUT, if they are not 'experts' on vf, there is always a second opinion somewhere. With a little extra knowledge about your disease you may be able help yourself.


On Sale for $3 each plus shipping
To order Contact Linda at coccifever@cox.net

All profits from the sale of these wristbands are donated to Valley Fever Survivor website that promotes the dissemination of information about this deadly disease. To date this website has been supported soley by the webmasters who are VF Survivors and saw a need to spread the word about Valley Fever. I also do this do this because our government has not seen the light to inform the public about this disease. Help us spread the word and purchase a wristband.

Budster was unlucky enough to get it, and is still recovering.

All this time I have had this website up I just noticed that I never mentioned how I think I got VF. Here's what I think. We had a new house and the backyard was not landscaped. We worked out some plans and I rented a 'Bobcat' (small gas powered earth mover) and proceeded to re-arrange the dirt in the yard. Flatten out a spot here, build a hill there, etc..... At the end of day one I was covered in dust. So my wife hosed me off and then I took a shower. Same story the next day, moving dirt, making dust. Two weeks later I was out of town on a business trip...

Read my story here

updated 05/20/08

What is Valley Fever? It's not a joke, that's for sure for sure (pun intended)

What is coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever)?

Coccidioidomycosis is an infectious disease caused by inhaling spores of a fungus called Coccidioides . The disease starts out as a respiratory illness and may progress to a persistent infection. Disseminated coccidioidomycosis is the most severe form of the disease and is often fatal.

Who gets coccidioidomycosis?

Anyone who is present near dust-producing activities where soil or other materials contaminated with C. immitis are present can get coccidioidomycosis if enough spores are inhaled. People of African or Asian descent, pregnant women and people who are immunocompromised are at increased risk for developing Disseminated coccidioidomycosis.

C. immitis grows in arid (dry) and semiarid areas of the Western Hemisphere. In the United States, this range extends from California to southern Texas, and includes parts of Utah.

How is coccidioidomycosis spread?

Coccidioidomycosis is not contagious; it cannot be transmitted from an infected person or animal to someone else. People are infected with C. immitis when they inhale spores. Dusty objects from areas where C. immitis is common may contain infective fungal spores.

What are the symptoms of coccidioidomycosis?

Coccidioidomycosis first infects a person's lungs. The primary disease may produce no symptoms at all or may produce a fever, chills, and cough. This infection may heal completely, or result in other complications.

One complication of this infection is called erythema nodosum. This occurs most commonly in Caucasian females and can be diagnosed by a physician. Another complication of this infection is permanent damage to the lung.

Approximately one out of a thousand cases of coccicioidomycosis will progress to disseminated coccidioidomycosis, which is the most severe form of the disease. People with disseminated disease form lesions in the lung and abscesses throughout the body. These abscesses tend to form in the subcutaneous tissues, skin, bone and the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).

How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?

Symptoms of disease usually start within one to four weeks after exposure. Disseminated disease may develop years after the primary infection (even when the primary infection was so mild that the patient does not remember having it).

How is coccidioidomycosis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of coccicioidomycosis is made by finding the fungus in the patient's sputum, pus, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, or in biopsies of skin lesions or affected organs. A diagnosis may also be made using skin tests or blood tests.

What is the treatment for coccidioidomycosis?

Mild cases of coccidioidomycosis usually resolve without treatment. For severe cases, anti fungal medications are needed. Disseminated coccidioidomycosis is fatal if untreated, but death can also occur in some patients even when medical treatment is received.

How can coccidioidomycosis be prevented?

The best way to prevent exposures to C. immitis spores is to avoid situations where soil that might be contaminated can be inhaled.

If materials that are potentially contaminated must be removed, contact your local health department for specific advice on how to protect yourself.

Where Valley Fever is in the U.S.
Valley Fever Locations
Map from Valley FeverCenter for Excellance

I received pills made by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited
I found the following information on their website which includes which countries are making the generic. I would have posted this on the VF board but it is still down.......

US FDA approves Dr. Reddy's ANDA for fluconazole.
August 3, 2004: The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Dr. Reddy's Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for fluconazole tablets 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg on July 29, 2004.

Fluconazole is the generic equivalent of Pfizer's Diflucan(r) and is indicated for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections.

It seems that this generic Diflucan is made outside of the US. With all the controversy about getting medications outside of the US (for saftey sake) how does this get past the FDA?

A froogle search yields a lot of hits for Fluconazole, but even the generics are still expensive. But if you go to DRS. FOSTER & SMITH you can get 100mg tablets for $0.75 each, but these are for dogs and cats, does this mean it is not safe for humans? Do we need to start a movement for affordable drugs, I am sure that if a pet med can sell for $0.75 100mg that the 'human equavalent' could be $1.00. What would it take in the manufacturing process to insure quality? And don't we require quality meds for our pets also? Are they not a part of our family? Please email me any comments you may have on this matter.

Here is an article from the Bakersfield Californian that is very interesting. I hope they keep it on the web for a while!

Links to Valley Fever information;
Valley Fever Message Board, trade stories/info on line! (This message board seems to be unavailable)
Valley Fever Survivor A new web site created to educate people everywhere about the potentially debilitating consequences of a Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) infection.
Valley Fever Message Board (New) Please use this board for up to date information and a place for VF survivors to share information
Valley Fever Center for Excellence
Valley Fever Vaccine Project
Valley Fever Facts
Valley Fever, the Cure?
More info from an on-line Medical Encyclopedia
Doctor Fungus
eMedicine, very informative site!
Read Donna's VF story
Your dog can get VF too!
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updated 05/20/06