Valley fever is hard to diagnose, even harder to treat, and potentially fatal—and the number of cases is rising dramatically.

Karen Deeming was a healthy 48-year-old living in Los Banos, California, and working on her master's degree in anthropology and archaeology. Then, in late 2012, a few weeks after returning from a dig in Mariposa, California, Karen began to feel sick. A chest x-ray turned up bilteral pneumonia and masses in her lungs.

What followed was eight months of debilitating illness. And she's not better yet.

If you suspect that Karen had lung cancer, you're wrong. She had something else—and she isn't alone. Cases of her illness are on the rise: In 1998, there were 2,000. In 2011, there were around 23,000.

To find out what Karen's illness is—and whether you're at risk—watch the video above.

 

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  3. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  4. Equity

    Capturing Black Bottom, a Detroit Neighborhood Lost to Urban Renewal

    “Black Bottom Street View,” now exhibiting at the Detroit Public Library, thoughtfully displays old images of the historic African American neighborhood in its final days.

  5. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?