A rise in a deadly disease called Valley fever that is spread via fungus is on the rise in the West— researchers say that climate change is to blame.
Currently spoke with Zoya Teirstein
, a staff reporter at Grist, who reported on the impact of the fungus.
She said that many people have a hard time receiving a diagnosis due to the disease being an “emerging illness”. Many doctors are not even aware of the disease, despite the fact that cases are skyrocketing.
“In periods of intense rain, followed by intense drought— which is a symptom of extreme weather fuelled by climate change— it really impacts this fungus and makes it thrive,” said Teirstein. “Then it dries it out and the spores get into the air, and people breathe it in… so cases are really on the rise.”
Research is still limited, however, it is clear that Valley fever has a greater effect on certain groups of people including pregnant people, the immunocompromised, African Americans, and Filipinos.