Skip to comments.Expert Sheds Light On Valley Fever After It Kills Antelope Valley Teen
Posted on 09/25/2012 6:37:30 PM PDT by BenLurkin
ANTELOPE VALLEY [california] (CBSLA.com) A 15-year-old girl was brought to Antelope Valley Hospital August 12 with a fever, cough and aches in her arms and legs.
Bre Hughes was tested for cancer, lupus and tuberculosis, but the results all came back negative.
Four hospitals and two weeks later, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles diagnosed the teen with Valley Fever, but it was too late.
Hughes passed away August 31.
Her family wants to know why several hospitals didnt immediately recognize what she had as Valley Fever.
If they would have found out sooner would she still be here? Thats my question, thats what I want to know I didnt expect to lose my sister, Hughes sister, Kia, told CBS2′s Serene Branson.
The fungal infection can masquerade as different kinds of diseases before doctors recognize it as Valley Fever.
Los Angeles County Public Health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding said Southland doctors shouldnt leave out Valley Fever when diagnosing patients with Bres symptoms. The fungal infection is prevalent in arid desert areas like the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys. Its caused when a mold spore enters the lungs. The spore is often carried by wind near construction work.
In the first six months of 2012, there have been 178 reported cases and five deaths from Valley Fever in LA County. Health officials typically see between 170 and 300 cases a year. Doctors say the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems have the most risk of complications.
Valley Fever is usually not fatal for most patients with healthy immune systems. It turns out Hughes had a rare, undiagnosed blood condition that left her more vulnerable to the infection.
The Hughes family said they arent angry and dont blame the hospitals. They are speaking out about Bres death to raise awareness and to encourage more hospitals to test for Valley Fever
Just about everything in LA will kill ya.
OK, stupid question, whats valley fever?
I live in Bakersfield. Valley fever lives in our dust. A brother, a sister, and my son have all had active cases. When they get TB tests, they have “false positives” because of valley fever.
It usually zaps you for months. Medicine costs $1,600 for a month’s supply. :)
I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley before so much land was under cultivation. I’m sure that I’ve been exposed to it — most of us have, and we’re immune to it now. When I get a physical, they always note spots on my lungs, although I’ve never had TB, or anything else.
When I was in high school in the San Joaquin Valley, valley fever was running rampant.
It can be dangerous and/or deadly. Caused by a fungus.
With 170 to 300 cases a year in this region it would appear that valley fever would jump right out at these Docotrs.
Having had Vally Fever I know it can be a real bummer. I was fortunate and recovered quickly.
I got a mild case when I first moved to Tucson - I was watching a backhoe dig a 3 ft deep ditch for a power cable on our lot.
Antelope Valley Hospital - what a joke. The same hospital that killed my mother. After all these years it still hasn’t changed. Run, as fast as you can, away from that place. Staffed by a group of losers.
I’ve had Valley Fever since I was 15. It is walled off in my lungs like TB in remission. A gift from being a dirt bike rider in San Diego. coccidiomycosis is treatable with Vancomycin if it goes active. It is a brutal antiobiotic, but better than death. On x-ray, the lungs present amorphous calcified pockets of infection. TB appears like perfectly round holes punched in the lung. A skin test is available for Valley Fever and TB. My TB is always negative. The Valley Fever test wrapped around my arm.
I would think that Valley Fever should have been higher on the differential diagnosis list, given her location (much like Lyme Disease for Lyme symptoms is high on the DD list in the northeast).