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How do I Choose the Best Valley Fever Treatment?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Valley fever is the common name for an infection by the fungus coccidioides causing coccidioidomycosis, and is predominantly found in the desserts of North and South America. Acute, chronic, and disseminated are the three types of the fever, and the best valley fever treatment depends on which type you have. Acute valley fever is the mildest form and the best treatment includes rest, keeping hydrated, and using over the counter medications to relieve symptoms. The best valley fever treatment for either chronic and disseminated infections are anti-fungal drugs and extended rest. These two forms occasionally require lung, skin, or bone abscesses to be drained.

Acute pulmonary valley fever is the mildest form of this fungal infection, characterized by fever, cough, headache, fatigue, joint pain, and sometimes a rash. The best valley fever treatment for the acute form is rest, increased fluid intake, and use of over the counter medications such as fever reducers and pain relievers to provide relief from the symptoms. If you have this form, your symptoms will typically last one to three weeks, but joint pain and fatigue can last for up to six months. When the symptoms worsen or fail to abate after three weeks, a doctor should be seen to determine if chronic valley fever has developed.

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The symptoms for chronic valley fever are the same as the symptoms for the acute form, with the addition of lung abscesses. Treatment for this form is an anti-fungal drugs such as fluconazole or itraconazole as well as rest. Most anti-fungal drugs have unpleasant side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea. In most cases, the side effects subside when the medication is finished. Since some anti-fungal drugs have precautions or restrictions for certain medical conditions, your doctor can select the best drug for you based on your health history and health insurance plan.

Disseminated valley fever occurs when the coccidioides spreads to the skin, liver, bone, heart, or brain. Symptoms can include skin, liver, and bone abscesses, severe swollen joints, and possibly meningitis. Disseminated valley fever treatment involves administering an anti-fungal drug and sometimes draining the skin, lung, or bone abscesses. If diagnosed with this form, part of your valley fever treatment should be to watch for signs of meningitis, an infection of the brain and spinal cord fluid. The most common symptoms of meningitis include high fever, stiff neck, nausea with severe headache, and mental confusion.

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