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Fungus causing Valley Fever identified in Yakima County

Fungus causing Valley Fever detected in Yakima County.

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- State health leaders say some soil samples from Yakima County have tested positive for containing the fungus that causes Valley Fever.

This is the first time positive samples were found in Yakima County.

The infection is caused by inhaling the fungus. The health district reports most people who are exposed to the fungus never have symptoms. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, headache, and body or joint aches, night sweats, or rash that usually go away on their own after a few weeks.

Health leaders say it is difficult to prevent Valley Fever. If you dig in soil containing the fungus, you can reduce your chances of exposure by wetting the soil beforehand and using respiratory protection.

The Washington State Department of Health says there is a low risk of contracting Valley Fever in parts of Washington.

To learn more, click here.

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