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May 6, 2014

'Valley fever' fungus found in NW soil

  • Experts say people who work in dusty fields or construction sites are most at risk.
  • By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
    Associated Press

    SPOKANE — A fungus that can cause a potentially fatal illness called valley fever has been found for the first time in the soil of Washington, officials at Washington State University said Monday.

    When the fungus, which is normally found in semi-arid soils of the Southwest, becomes airborne, it can lead to valley fever. It releases tiny spores that get inhaled and lodged in the lungs of humans and certain animals, especially dogs.


     
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