What you may not be aware of is the inherit risk this creates if you are working in the southwestern United States. A spore known as Coccidioides lives in the soil and can be breathed in when dirt is moved. Around 60 percent of people who are exposed will never experience symptoms, but for those who do, the effects can be life threatening.

The infection is called coccidioidomycosis but is better known as Valley fever and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has called it a “silent epidemic.”

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