Mark L. Johnson
Cocci Chronicles VI-Valley Fever Uptick
Cocci Chronicles is a public outreach medium for Valley Fever awareness.
Parts I-V presented Valley Fever origins, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and future needs.
Since publication of Parts I-V there has been an uptick in Valley Fever data and communications---local and national. Part VI picks up on this new information.
1 out 5 COVID Hospitalizations Is Actually Valley Fever
Banner Health/University of Arizona data (shown below) from 1/1/20 through 3/31/21 shows that 1 out of 5 patients hospitalized for suspicion of COVID with a negative COVID test actually tested positive for Valley Fever (Cocci). This demonstrates two things; (1) the symptoms are very similar and (2) increased testing resulted in increased diagnosis of Valley Fever.
Valley Fever is even more prevalent in Arizona than once thought and emphasizes the need for more public outreach, physician awareness, improved testing, quicker diagnosis, vaccines and improved treatment.
Valley Fever Linked To Climate Change/Wildfires
A recent Article by Zoya Teirstein in the Grist presents the continuing evidence that Valley Fever is on the rise and correlates with climate change and also wildfires. Dr. Gagliani (U of A Valley Fever Center of Excellence), Dr. Steve Oscherwitz (Tucson Medical Center) and myself were interviewed along with others for this article. This article was also picked up by Wired-Apple News.
Valley Fever A Disease Of Color
Shana Montanari's Article for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AzCIR) discusses the disease and the correlation to certain ethnic groups and the lack of funding for Valley Fever research.
More H2O = More Cocci Spores
Another recent Article by Shana Montanari for AzCIR reports on cocci ecology research by Northern Arizona University. This research has confirmed that moisture assists cocci growth. When the soil dries out from this year's monsoonal rains, it could mean more Valley Fever infections.