Thursday, January 26, 2012

National Park Service issues warning for coccidioidomycosis among archaeologists!

Although not a big concern for us in the wet northeast, many of our members visit arid sites:

National Park Service Risk for coccidioidomycosis among archaeologists NPS units
January 2012

Background: In July 2011, a university student was diagnosed with coccidioidomycosis (a.k.a. Valley fever) after participating in an archaeological dig at PINN. The student was likely exposed after inhaling fungal spores that were aerosolized during soil-disturbing activities. Previously, 10 DINO workers (2 employees, 8 volunteers) also contracted cocciodioidomycosis after conducting similar archaeological activities in 2001. All 11 case-patients had mild- moderate symptoms and recovered.
This briefing statement reviews signs and symptoms of coccidioidomycosis, risk factors for infection, and appropriate prevention and control measures. Archaeologists and other NPS employees involved in soil-disturbing activities—particularly in the Southwest U.S. where coccidioidomycosis is endemic—should be aware of this potential health risk.

Full briefing with recommended precautions & symptoms at:

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