Wednesday , April 17 2024

Valley fever researchers have developed a vaccine—for dogs

Each year, the fungal disease valley fever infects tens of thousands of people in the American Southwest. Studies suggest infection rates could be even higher among dogs, however, and researchers in Arizona are now announcing progress on a canine valley fever vaccine. Valley fever is caused by a fungus that grows in arid soil. Fungal spores can become airborne due to wind, construction or other activities that disrupt the soil, and inhaling the spores can lead to an infection in the lungs that can spread throughout the body if not treated promptly . Around half of those who develop an infection overcome it without ever knowing they had it, but symptomatic cases can resemble anything from mild flu to pneumonia to lung cancer. In rare cases, the disease can be fatal, or it can spread to other parts of the body and require life-long treatment. Researchers estimate the disease’s financial burden annually tops $ 700 million in California and $ 736 million in Arizona , between direct and
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