Man Survives Lung Infection From Fungus
When Jose Leon suddenly started experiencing intense flu-like symptoms in March, he suspected COVID-19.
He’d get easily winded at the gym and developed a cough that “got a little bit crazy.” He started getting fevers and cold sweats, and lost his appetite. It was the worst he had ever felt in his life, he recalled.
“I couldn’t stop being tired — really tired,” Leon, 40, who lives in Lemoore, California, with his wife, Carmen, and five children, told TODAY. “It was just getting worse week by week.”
“I’ve never seen him fragile like that,” his wife, 39, said. “He was not wanting to walk, he was not wanting to get out of bed. He lost weight extremely fast… it was really scary.”
What is Valley fever?
But when Leon was tested for COVID-19, the result was negative every time. His primary care doctor had few answers even as Leon’s condition deteriorated to the point where Carmen had to take him to the emergency room twice.
The couple didn’t know it then, but it wasn’t a virus that caused the health crisis. The culprit was a tiny fungus that lives in the soil in the southwestern U.S. and has also recently been found in south-central Washington State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.
When people breathe in dust that contains the fungus, it can infect the lungs and cause a disease known as Valley fever, or coccidioidomycosis.
In California, the number of reported Valley fever cases has “greatly increased” in recent years, tripling from 2014 to 2018, according to the California Department of Public Health.
The Great Deception continues…
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