Skip to Content

Valley Fever


Valley fever is an infection caused by a fungus. You can get the infection if you breathe in the fungus germs. The germs are found in soil and dust in parts of the United States, Mexico, and Central America. In the United States, most cases of valley fever occur in Arizona and California.



  • Cough medicine: This may soothe your throat and decrease your urge to cough. It may help you sleep if coughing keeps you awake.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Antifungal medicine: You may need this medicine to kill the fungus if you are severely ill or have a weak immune system.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return for blood tests or chest x-rays. Your primary healthcare provider may also refer you to a pulmonary or infectious disease specialist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Get plenty of rest: Rest often while you recover. Slowly start to do more each day.
  • Use a humidifier: Use a cool-mist humidifier to increase air moisture in your home. This may make it easier for you to breathe, and help decrease your cough.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or specialist if:

  • Your symptoms do not get better after 2 months.
  • You have night sweats for more than 3 weeks.
  • Your lymph nodes are swollen.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe chest pain.
  • You have trouble breathing, or your breathing seems faster and more shallow than normal.
  • Your lips or nails turn blue.
  • You are confused or very sleepy.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You have a headache, a stiff neck, and a fever.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.