New weather conditions brought on by climate change may help spread a fungal disease endemic to the Southwest known as valley fever
By Janice Arenofsky and Environmental Health News
October 26, 2012 --It's high noon, and the 112–degree summer heat—up from a decade ago—stalks Arizona's Sonoran Desert. By late afternoon, dark clouds threaten, and monsoon winds beat the earth into a mass of swirling sand. Thick walls of surface soil blind drivers on the Interstate.
Some health experts believe new weather conditions—hotter temperatures and more intense dust storms fueled by global warming—are creating a perfect storm for the transmission of coccidioidomycosis, also known as valley fever, a fungal disease endemic to the southwestern United States.