Valley fever is caused by Coccidioides, a fungus that lives in soil in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America. Inhaling the airborne fungal spores can cause an infection called coccidioidomycosis, which is also known as “cocci” or “valley fever.” Most people who are exposed to the fungus do not get sick, but some people develop flu-like symptoms that may last for weeks to months. In a very small proportion of people who get valley fever, the infection can spread from the lungs to the rest of the body and cause more severe conditions, such as meningitis or even death. Valley fever cannot spread from person to person. Read the PBS Newshour story, Valley Fever: 10 Things CDC Says You Should Know, or watch their news feature.