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November a peak time for valley fever infections

Each year, the Governor's Office declares the second week of November Valley Fever Awareness Week, and health experts are reminding residents to be aware of their health, especially in breezy weather.

Valley fever is caused by fungus that lives in the soil and when disturbed, it can get transmitted into the human body.

While falling deathly ill is common, some who become infected remain asymptomatic.

"Usually, it's a lung infection, but it can spread to other parts of the body, said Jessica Rigler of Arizona Department of Health Services. "If it goes into the brain, it can cause death."

About 10,000 Arizonans are stricken with valley fever every year. Typical symptoms are flu-like, however, the most significant difference is the length of time a person is sick. Influenza will run its course in a few days, while valley fever can linger for months.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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