Valley fever or California disease aka desert rheumatism is a fungal disease endemic to California, South Arizona and Mexico. It can also occur in dogs and other pet animals. The fever can last for few weeks or sometimes a few months. However, it is not contagious and may not require any treatment in mild cases.
Causes: Valley fever is caused by fungal infections from fungus present in the soil. The spores of fungus present in the air affect the lungs when inhaled. People with low immune system are more prone to this disease.
Symptoms: Common symptoms include cough and breathlessness, rashes on the skin, chest pain, fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, headache and fatigue.
Medical treatment: Rest, exercise and plenty of fluids are essential for fast recovery. Anti-fungal medicines such as Fluconazole, itraconazole and other drugs that reduce cough and respiratory problems, joint pains and fever are prescribed. The use of herbs can speed up recovery and reduce side effects of drugs.
A tea made using Echinacea is known to increase immunity.
Ginseng tea overcomes the loss of appetite.
Garlic is an effective anti-fungal; it can be used whilst cooking or made into tea. It kills fungus and reduces infection.
Ginger tea treats symptoms such as cold cough and fever. It also improves digestion and provides immunity.
Peppermint tea, Holy Basil tea, Colt's foot, Astragalus and Eucalyptus oil are all beneficial In treating respiratory problems, fever and prevent infections.
Consumption of proteins such as soy milk and curd help to fight fungus infection .
Citrus fruits such as orange and amla improve immunity.
Contraindications: Consult medical professional if symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite breathlessness and respiratory problems persist.