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New grant aims to help researchers pinpoint Valley Fever hotspots in Arizona

Valley Fever research at University of Arizona
Posted at 6:58 AM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 12:56:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Researchers at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona received a grant from the Arizona Board of Regents to help pinpoint the hot spots of Valley Fever. It's the first major state funding boost for this research in 15 years.

Valley Fever, or coccidioidomycosis, has similar symptoms to the flu like coughing, chills and fever. Dr. John Galgiani, the director of the University of Arizona's Valley Fever Center for Excellence said it's a very missed diagnosed illness in Arizona and it's hard to pinpoint. It's a fungus found in the desert soil, but Galgiani said they don't know much about how it spreads or grows. He said the wind may be a factor in how it spreads.

"They’re like wildflowers," he said. "Like they don’t grow everywhere. It's just random places and it’s interesting why they are there and not somewhere else. It could relate to rodents and where they live, to alkalinity of the soil or other factors about the soil."

With the over $4 million grant, each university takes a piece of the grant and the research. Galgiani said each university will bring their strength to their part of the study.

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