Coccidioidomycosis, commonly known as Valley fever, is a fungal disease caused by inhaling spores from Coccidioides species. This fungus lives in the soil of semi-arid regions of the world and is endemic in areas of the southwestern United States, northern Mexico and portions of South America. When asked, most people diagnosed with Valley fever in Wisconsin have a history of travel to Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, or Texas. About 60% of infected people exhibit mild or no clinical illness.
People who develop symptoms most often experience a flu-like illness, with fever, cough, headache, fatigue, rash, and muscle aches from which they recover within several months. A small number of infected people may develop a chronic pulmonary infection or widespread disseminated infection in the brain, joints, bones, or soft tissues.