Tuesday , February 20 2024

Valley Fever Medication Poses Added Risk For Pregnant Women

When Jennine Ochoa became pregnant at the end of 2017, she didn’t know what to expect. At 42, she’d waited longer than most women to start a family. But she said her first five months were easy. “I had no morning sickness, nothing,” she said. “It was completely uneventful until May.” That’s when a dust storm rolled over her home in rural Tulare County in California’s arid San Joaquin Valley. “A week later I started coughing really bad,” she said. “The hardest I’ve ever coughed in my life, to the point where I was vomiting.” In just one week she said she lost 10 pounds. Only when an itchy rash broke out on her legs a few days later did she suspect she had valley fever, a fungal disease that’s caused by inhaling spores that grow in soil in the desert southwest. “Being a scientist, I pulled up the literature, went to the CDC website, and there was a recent paper on valley fever and pregnancy and I read it,” she said. Ochoa is a veterinary pathologist. She performs necropsies on livestock
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