Coronavirus (COVID 19) (SARS CoV-2) and Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
We have received many questions regarding the risk of Coronavirus infection in persons with Coccidioidomycosis. There is to date no direct information on the risk of infection with Coronavirus or complications from having Coronavirus in the clinical setting of Valley Fever. However, we feel reasonably confident in offering the following advice.
- If you had Valley Fever pneumonia in the past and are recovered and have had no new symptoms and no new findings on Chest X-ray and normal blood tests you are probably at the same risk as other persons of your age and with similar health conditions.
- If you had Valley Fever and have significant residual lung injury (for example lung scarring) that is persistent, you may be at increased risk for complications with a Coronavirus infection (such as bacterial pneumonia).
- If you have active Valley Fever under treatment you may also be at increased risk for complications with Coronavirus infections.
- If you have/had Valley Fever in a body part outside the Lungs and are stable without symptoms on or off therapy, you are probably not at increased risk for complications with Coronavirus infections.
- If you have active Valley Fever outside the lung (disseminated) you may be at risk for more severe complications with Coronavirus infections.
- Risk factors for severe complications from Coronavirus and Valley Fever are the same such as increased weight, Diabetes (especially with poor control,) Male gender, Chronic lung disease, Asthma, Heart Failure, smoking, vaping, and use of cannabis.
- Wherever you are in your Valley Fever course of illness it is important to continue any current treatment as recommended by your physician unless instructed otherwise.
- It is important to control other health problems such as Diabetes.
- It is important to avoid tobacco, vaping, cannabis, and alcohol.
- It is important to prevent the spread of Coronavirus between yourself and others by following CDC guidelines and recommendations around social distancing.
It is important to note that both diseases share many primary symptoms:
- COVID-19 is a viral infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 and is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person
- Valley Fever is a fungal infection resulting from inhaling spores of the fungus Coccidioidesand cannot be spread from person-to-person
COVID-19 and Valley Fever cannot be self-diagnosed. If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms, isolate yourself from others and contact your healthcare provider immediately. Be sure to call 911 if you are having trouble breathing or feel you have a life-threatening emergency.