Fungus That Causes Fatal Illness Found In WA State But No Need F - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fungus That Causes Fatal Illness Found In WA State But No Need For Worry

Posted: Updated:
UPDATE:

KHQ's Nichole Mischke spoke with Kim Papich with the Spokane Regional Health District and it she provided additional context around the WSU release. WSU recently tested soil in central Washington state and detected the fungus that, when inhaled, can cause Valley Fever.

Three individuals from central Washington were diagnosed with Valley Fever in 2010-2011—two cases in 2010 and a case in 2011 and all were likely exposed to the fungus in Washington state.

The illness cannot be spread from human-to-human or animal-to-human. It is only contracted if contaminated soil is inhaled.

Most people who are exposed to the fungus do not develop symptoms, or have very mild flu-like symptoms that go away on their own. Some people may develop a more severe infection, especially those who have a weakened immune system, are of African-American or Filipino descent, or are pregnant in their third trimester.

Symptoms of Valley Fever include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Rash on upper trunk or extremities
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain in the knees or ankles
Symptoms may appear between one and three weeks after exposure to the fungus. If symptoms last for more than a week, contact your health care provider.

Valley Fever is a notifiable condition in Washington state, which means that if a person is diagnosed with it, local public health will be notified.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A fungus that can launch a fatal illness has been found for the first time in the soil of Washington.
    
Officials for Washington State University say the fungus can cause an illness called valley fever. The fungus is normally found in semiarid parts of the Southwest.
    
Valley fever occurs when the soil-dwelling fungus becomes airborne, releasing spores that get lodged in the lungs of humans and certain animals, especially dogs.
    
The Centers for Disease Control estimates it kills 160 people a year.
    
Three unrelated cases were diagnosed in Eastern Washington in 2010-11.
    
Scientists for Washington State say that soil samples taken recently from the vicinity tested positive for the fungus, proving it can survive here. All three people who got sick in Eastern Washington survived.

For more information on this illness including a list of symptoms, click here: http://tinyurl.com/mf5dtmo

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grant Co. Sheriff's Office: At least 3 dead, 8 injured in mass casualty crash south of George

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:20 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:20:15 GMT

    GEORGE, Wash. - At least three people are dead in a mass casualty crash in Grant County and at least 8 other people are injured, some seriously. The crash happened around 5am Thursday morning at Adams Rd. South and Frenchman Hills Rd. which is just S. of Quincy and W. of Vantage, WA. Adams Road South will be closed at that intersection for most of the day.

    >>

    GEORGE, Wash. - At least three people are dead in a mass casualty crash in Grant County and at least 8 other people are injured, some seriously. The crash happened around 5am Thursday morning at Adams Rd. South and Frenchman Hills Rd. which is just S. of Quincy and W. of Vantage, WA. Adams Road South will be closed at that intersection for most of the day.

    >>
  • PHOTOS: 4.5 mile beer pipeline to deliver 400,000 liters of beer

    PHOTOS: 4.5 mile beer pipeline to deliver 400,000 liters of beer

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:27 PM EDT2017-05-25 18:27:48 GMT

    KHQ.COM - We've heard of oil pipelines... but beer pipelines? Some metal music fans preparing for the "Wacken Open Air Festival," which happens to be the largest metal music festival in the world, are giving us an insiders look at just exactly what a beer pipeline looks like, how it's made and how it works. Festival organizers are installing an underground, 4.3 mile long pipeline to deliver approximately 400,000 liters of beer.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - We've heard of oil pipelines... but beer pipelines? Some metal music fans preparing for the "Wacken Open Air Festival," which happens to be the largest metal music festival in the world, are giving us an insiders look at just exactly what a beer pipeline looks like, how it's made and how it works. Festival organizers are installing an underground, 4.3 mile long pipeline to deliver approximately 400,000 liters of beer.

    >>
  • Wet spring brings black flies out in force in the Inland Northwest

    Wet spring brings black flies out in force in the Inland Northwest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:20 AM EDT2017-05-25 06:20:21 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nothing beats being outside in this great weather right now, but this wet spring has brought a lot of pests. We’ve been talking about wasps and ticks, but black flies are coming out in force too. Jenny Zhang says she’s noticed black flies a lot more in her neighborhood. Her 2-year-old son Liam was bitten.  “Actually, when he got bit he thought it was a bumblebee and then he was afraid of them,” she says. The bites 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nothing beats being outside in this great weather right now, but this wet spring has brought a lot of pests. We’ve been talking about wasps and ticks, but black flies are coming out in force too. Jenny Zhang says she’s noticed black flies a lot more in her neighborhood. Her 2-year-old son Liam was bitten.  “Actually, when he got bit he thought it was a bumblebee and then he was afraid of them,” she says. The bites 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Gianforte issues apology after being charged with assaulting reporter

    Gianforte issues apology after being charged with assaulting reporter

    Friday, May 26 2017 2:10 AM EDT2017-05-26 06:10:52 GMT
    Photo: Facebook/GregForMontanaPhoto: Facebook/GregForMontana

    BOZEMAN, Mont. - Republican Greg Gianforte says he 'learned a lesson," and has apologized to a reporter after being charged with assaulting him in a release sent to media Thursday night after his win in Montana's special election.  Here is what Gianforte's release says: Friend, Tonight is about you. Tonight is your victory. Over the last 2 years, you have knocked on tens of thousands of doors. You have made hundreds of thousands of 

    >>

    BOZEMAN, Mont. - Republican Greg Gianforte says he 'learned a lesson," and has apologized to a reporter after being charged with assaulting him in a release sent to media Thursday night after his win in Montana's special election.  Here is what Gianforte's release says: Friend, Tonight is about you. Tonight is your victory. Over the last 2 years, you have knocked on tens of thousands of doors. You have made hundreds of thousands of 

    >>
  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, May 25th

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, May 25th

    Thursday, May 25 2017 5:38 PM EDT2017-05-25 21:38:39 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, May 25th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, May 25th.

    >>
  • SWAT team arrests man wanted for multiple sex offense charges on N Division St.

    SWAT team arrests man wanted for multiple sex offense charges on N Division St.

    Friday, May 26 2017 1:57 AM EDT2017-05-26 05:57:51 GMT
    SWAT team arrests man wanted for multiple sex offense charges on N Division St.SWAT team arrests man wanted for multiple sex offense charges on N Division St.

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Thursday evening just before 8 p.m.  information was obtained by Spokane Police Special Victim Unit detectives that a man wanted on multiple sex offense charges was on N Division St. Police say received information that 38-year-old Daniel Wells Jr was armed, had made suicidal statements, and possibly threatened other people. Because of this information, personnel from the SWAT team were utilized. When officers 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Thursday evening just before 8 p.m.  information was obtained by Spokane Police Special Victim Unit detectives that a man wanted on multiple sex offense charges was on N Division St. Police say received information that 38-year-old Daniel Wells Jr was armed, had made suicidal statements, and possibly threatened other people. Because of this information, personnel from the SWAT team were utilized. When officers 

    >>