How climate change is pushing valley fever northward in California
The effects of climate change in California, from harsher heat waves to more volatile rainstorms, are well established. Lesser known is what those crises can help fuel: the northern migration of infectious diseases. One, in particular, is already on the move. Valley fever, a respiratory disease spread by fungal spores that grow in soil, has long been concentrated mostly in the Arizona desert and California’s lower San Joaquin Valley. But a growing body of research suggests the disease is gaining a foothold farther north, driven by warming temperatures and extreme swings in rainfall and drought tied to climate change.