Pulmonary Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever
Dr. Rundbaken has developed a special interest in Valley Fever since moving to Arizona in 1997 from Michigan. Case rates fluctuate, but have continue to rise over the last few years. Valley Fever is one of the most common reported lung infections to the Arizona Department of Health, and can account for up to a third of all pneumonias in the Valley.
Dr. Rundbaken has attended the majority of the yearly collaborations of the cocci study group in collaboration with physicians of California, Arizona, Mexico and more recently Washington state. Dr. Rundbaken formally served as one of the Board members for the Valley Fever Alliance of Arizona as one of their founding members in conjunction with the University of Arizona.
Our clinic has participated with the University of Texas San Antonio coccidioidomycosis research team in hopes to help assist with a future Valley Fever vaccine. We have provided Dr. Gary Cole and Dr. Chung with serum from our Valley Fever patients in an effort to assess immune response in patients ill with Valley Fever to further the knowledge base in creating a vaccine.
We treat all types of Valley Fever including basic pneumonia to more severe extrapulmonary cases including coccidioidomycosis meningitis, disseminated to skin and bone, as well as pregnant patients with Valley Fever. We often serve as a referral center to medically clear patients who will be placed on immunosuppressive medication, such as those with rheumatoid arthritis and related diseases, as well as colitis.
Community lectures are available upon request. Dr. Rundbaken has spoken to a variety of church groups over the years, rotary club community centers, as well as Glendale Community College.
Valley Fever Silent Epidemic
Valley Fever is a non-contagious respiratory illness caused by the desert fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii. The spectrum of the illness is broad, ranging from no significant symptoms (in 60 percent of cases) to more severe requiring medication and physician guidance for clinical resolution.Symptoms may include fever, chills, sweats, cough, chest pain, joint pain, headaches, muscle aches, rash, fatigue (often pro- found). Valley fever symptoms are similar to viral and bacterial infections, thus the diagnosis is often delayed or missed altogether especially outside the desert southwest.
The mission of this book is to educate, raise awareness, and further ignite efforts to find better diagnosis and treatment of this enigmatic disease.