HOW DO I?
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Published on December 30, 2016. Last modified on August 01, 2019
The best way to reduce your risk of getting Valley Fever is to avoid breathing in dirt or dust in areas where Valley Fever is common. Valley Fever can be difficult to prevent but some common sense recommendations that may help are below.
When it is windy outside and the air is dusty, especially during dust storms:
- Stay inside and keep windows and doors closed.
- While driving, keep car windows shut and use “recirculating” air conditioning if available.
- If you must be outdoors in dusty air, consider wearing an N95 mask or respirator.
- N95 masks are available at drug and hardware stores
- To be effective, N95 masks must be fitted properly.
When working or playing in areas with open dirt:
- Wet down soil before disturbing it to reduce dust.
- Consider wearing an N95 mask or respirator.
Other things you can do:
- Cover open dirt areas around your home with grass, plants, or other ground cover.
- After work or play, change out of clothes if covered with dirt.
- Take care not to shake out clothing and breathe in the dust before washing. Warn the person washing these clothes if you are not washing them yourself.
- Carry a couple of N95 masks or respirators in the car in case they are needed.
If you work in a job where dirt or soil is disturbed in a place where Valley Fever is common, you and your employer may want to review the CDPH website for preventing work-related Valley Fever.
People who get Valley Fever are usually protected from getting it again.