9OYS Health Watch
Haboob hoax: Valley Fever cases don't spike after dust storms
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's an impressive sight and Tucson got a front sow seat last Wednesday as the dust rolled into the Old Pueblo.
"This was the first one we'd experienced in Tucson of that magnitude," Dr. Donald Lieberman said. "I was in shopping center at Lowes, and it hit me."
It was a shocker for Dr. Lieberman and many others in Tucson. Last July, haboobs were a common sight in Maricopa County, so after the dust clouds cleared here, people wondered what may have been left behind. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked doctors do people have a reason to be concerned?
"People should not be concerned that they're going to get it for sure because of the dust storm," Lieberman said. "It will probably increase minimally."
9OYS is clearing up this haboob hoax. Doctors tell KGUN 9 new research shows there's no connection between haboobs and a greater chance for Valley Fever.
"It looks like the haboobs may not have a big impact on increased cases as you might think," Dr. John Galgiani said. "Light winds might be sufficient enough to blow spores around."
Dr. Galgiani is the Director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona. He says Wednesday's dust storm may have led to some new cases of the disease, but he doesn't expect numbers to shoot up. Those who do get sick, may never know it.
"A few people get very ill and they get to be very good friends with their doctor," Galgiani said.
Experts tell 9OYS if people were out and about during the haboob it is important to be on the lookout for symptoms, just in case they develop.
"The time from exposure is 1 to 3 weeks, so if they get the symptoms around that time, it's important to they contact their doctor and talk to them about it," Galgiani said.
For more information on Valley Fever, click here.