Phoenix Haboobs Expected to Cause Spike in Valley Fever Cases

Posted on July 24, 2011

The large haboob that hit Phoenix on July 5th caused power outages, canceled flights and spread dust around the city. It also spread spores in the air that can make people sick. KOLD reports that experts think the July 5th dust storm will cause an additional several thousand cases of Valley fever, a fungal infection caused by a fungi species named coccidioides. Mild cases go away on their own, but severe cases require treatment with antifungal medications.

Dr. John Galgiani, the Director of the University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence, told KOLD, "We can extrapolate to expect maybe 3,600 additional cases of Valley Fever in the Maricopa County area over and above what they would normally have."

The estimate of 3,600 additional cases of Valley Fever was made before Phoenix was hit with a second haboob on July 18. This video, which includes an interview with Dr. Galgianai, was taken after the first Haboob hit. Take a look:

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