Letter: Valley Fever deadly

May 15, 2014 

With respect to last week's article on the newly discovered Valley Fever fungus among us, the article failed to mention that two groups of people affected the most by the disease are Native Americans and Hispanics, due to their demographic location. Due to my previous service with the U.S. Air Force in California's San Joaquin Valley, I am a victim of this disease. My symptoms began in 1979, but due to the difficulty in diagnosing it, I have only been receiving treatment for the past six years. I have dealt with several doctors who specialize in this type of disease, including our local specialist Dr. Jimmy Chua.

It is imperative that people become aware this disease can be a killer if not treated promptly. The fungus can and does migrate easily from the lungs to any part of the body that receives blood flow. A persistent cough that will not go away, tumors or growths anywhere in the body all can be a sign of Valley Fever. Since we do have large Hispanic and Native American population in this area, it would behoove us all, especially parents, to be aware of this "silent killer."

ROBERTO HUELGA, Richland

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