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Desert Dangers

Spores can cause infections

(HealthDay) -- The Arizona desert can be beautiful. but behind that beauty lurks many dangers.

One is a fungus that causes valley fever, says the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz. Between one-third and one-half of all Arizona residents have been infected by breathing in spores released from soil. Only one-third of those exposed ever show any symptoms.

Most others experience only mild flu-like symptoms. Some, though, suffer lung problems that can result in scarring. Treatment usually includes lots of rest and, sometimes, antibiotics, the center says.

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