El Paso’s Dirt Is Really, Well … Dirty
Just in time for our infamous windy season, comes this cheery news...
Every Spring, the wind gets ridiculous here. Outdoor activities are out, lawn furniture disappears, small pets are in danger of flying away and ... apparently ... our dirt wants to poison us!?!?
Seriously. A native spore can cause Coccidioidomycosis or, "Valley Fever". They live underground and don't really bother anyone until the earth is disturbed. Then it can get ugly, especially for people that dig a lot. Mountain bikers, dirt bikers, ATV riders, etc are also at slightly higher risk! The wind scatters spores all over the freakin' place too so, for the next month or two, we're ALL at higher risk.
"There are about 14,000 reported cases of valley fever in the United States each year and roughly 200 people die from it. Doña Ana County had more cases than any other county in the state. - El Paso Times
Valley Fever isn't super common but, it's not exactly rare either. The actual number of cases could be even higher as physicians can easily confuse it with other illnesses.
Sooo; cover up your eyes, nose and mouth and try to stay inside 'til May!!