Valley Fever

ValleyFever

Valleyfever is a fungal infection and is caused by coccidioides organisms.The fungus is known to inhabit soil in the southwestern parts of theUnited States, Central and South Africa and some parts of Mexico(Knox, 2014). People acquire valley fever by breathing in aircontaining the fungal spores. In areas where coccidioides are common,it is usually difficult to prevent exposure. This essay will discussthe signs and symptoms of valley fever, related complications,diagnosis methods and treatment and prevention options.

Signsand symptoms

Itis important to note that Valley fever is the initial form ofcoccidioidomyosis infection. It can be categorized into acute andchronic Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis). The acute one tends toresemble a flu and is characterized by fever, chest pain, chills, redrash, fatigue, cough, night sweats and joint aches. Consequently,chronic Valley fever is more severe and may progress to pneumonia(Nguyen et al. 2013). Some of its signs and symptoms include weightloss, chest pains, cough, low-grade fever and nodules in the lungs.

Complications

Inthe case of , serious complications often develop when anindividual or the patient has a weakened immune system. Here, thedisease may progress to Pneumonia. Additionally, there have beencases whereby the disseminated form of has resulted inswollen joints, heart inflammation, bone lesions and skin ulcersamong other complications.

Diagnosistechniques

Oneof the diagnosis methods relies on the combination of the signs andsymptoms. Additionally, the nurse in charge may collect samples fromthe patient for laboratory analysis. There can also be the usage ofradiographic imaging techniques. With advancement in molecularbiology, researchers now use polymerase chain reaction to amplify theorganism’s DNA (Nguyen et al. 2013). Lastly, one can also use thenormal culturing techniques and identify the organismmorphologically. When it comes to serological analysis, the fungalinfection can be determined by detecting antigen-antibody reactionproduced against the fungus.

Treatmentand Prevention

Mildcases usually do not require any treatment, however, when thesymptoms prolong, one can take medications such as oral fluconazoleand amphotericin B IV. Additionally, other drugs of choice can beposaconazole and voriconazole. Some of the preventive strategies thatcan be adopted include enhancing surveillance of the causative agentsand improving diagnostic methods for early detection (CDC,2016). It is recommended that those who are more susceptible to thedisease should avoid airborne dust and use air filtration indoors.

Conclusion

Eventhough Valley fever is not a severe, it health care personnel fail todetect it in time and effective treatment started, it can progressand cause complications such as pneumonia. Diagnostic techniques thatcan be used to detect Valley fever include PCR, culturing and radioimaging. Lastly, the drug of choice to treat isposaconazole.

References

CDC.(2016). Treatment| Coccidioidomycosis | Types of Fungal Diseases | Fungal | Cdc.gov.Retrieved 7 November 2016, fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/coccidioidomycosis/treatment.html

Nguyen,C., Barker, B. M., Hoover, S., Nix, D. E., Ampel, N. M., Frelinger,J. A. &amp Galgiani, J. N. (2013). Recent advances in ourunderstanding of the environmental, epidemiological, immunological,and clinical dimensions of coccidioidomycosis.&nbspClinicalmicrobiology reviews,&nbsp26(3),505-525.

Knox,K. S. (2014). Perspective on coccidioidomycosis andhistoplasmosis.&nbspAmericanjournal of respiratory and critical care medicine,&nbsp189(6),752-753.

AnnotatedBibliography

CDC.(2016). Treatment| Coccidioidomycosis | Types of Fungal Diseases | Fungal | Cdc.gov.Retrieved 7 November 2016, fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/coccidioidomycosis/treatment.html

Thisarticle the center for disease control and prevention in the UnitedStates provides a detailed analysis of the available treatment andpreventive options that can be adopted to manage Valley fever. Thesource will be used to highlight some of the signs and symptoms ofthe disease and possible treatment options.

Nguyen,C., Barker, B. M., Hoover, S., Nix, D. E., Ampel, N. M., Frelinger,J. A. &amp Galgiani, J. N. (2013). Recent advances in ourunderstanding of the environmental, epidemiological, immunological,and clinical dimensions of coccidioidomycosis.&nbspClinicalmicrobiology reviews,&nbsp26(3),505-525.s

Thisjournal highlights some of the diagnostic techniques that can be usedto identify causative agents. Additionally, it statesenvironmental conditions where the organism prevails and some factorsthat facilitate its growth and development. The source will be usedto differentiate the types of coccidioidomycosis.

Knox,K. S. (2014). Perspective on coccidioidomycosis andhistoplasmosis.&nbspAmericanjournal of respiratory and critical care medicine,&nbsp189(6),752-753.

Thissource provides more insights on how coccidioidomycosis or ValleyFever is transmitted, and it is evident that being a fungalinfection, the spores can be easily carried from one place to theother. Additionally, the journal mentions some of the complicationsthat can result from coccidioidomycosis.