A disease caused by inhaling spores of the fungus Coccidioides immitis. It starts out as a respiratory illness and may progress to a persistent infection; disseminated coccidioidomycosis is the most severe form and is often fatal. Anyone who is present near dust-producing activities where soil or other materials contaminated with C. immitis are present can get this disease if enough spores are inhaled. Symptoms: First the lungs are infected, possibly producing no symptoms at all or perhaps a fever, chills, and cough. This infection may heal completely, or result in other complications. Approximately 1-in-1000 cases will progress to the disseminated form, leading to lesions in the lung and abscesses throughout the body. These abscesses tend to form in the subcutaneous tissues, skin, bone and the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
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