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Lack of awareness of Valley fever is the disease’s biggest danger

Tristan Ettleman

About Tristan Ettleman

Tristan Ettleman, a Cronkite News digital reporter on the futures beat, covers the intersection of technology and society. His portfolio includes a story on the revolution of block chain, the tech behind cryptocurrency, in the medical field and other industries.

Photo by Tristan Ettleman/Cronkite News“Time is lost and the patient gets worse,” Valley fever patient Jim Meenaghan said of physicians’ unfamiliarity with the disease.

PHOENIX — Doctors can misdiagnose Valley fever, a fungal disease that lurks behind common symptoms like coughs and fatigue, because many aren’t familiar with the respiratory disease, medical experts said. And that could prolong patient suffering.

Misdiagnoses not only hinder Valley fever recovery, they can make it worse, said John Galgiani, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence in Tucson. Galgiani is speaking about the dangers of the respiratory disease on Sunday at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference, Health Journalism 2018, in Phoenix. Continue reading