Minimizing the risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for those working in the field or living in the endemic area, it is very difficult to avoid exposure to the Coccidioides fungus, but there are precautions that can be taken.

  • Wear an N95 respirator mask approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Avoid dust from yard work, gardening and digging.
  • Use HEPA filters indoors.
  • Clean skin injuries that have been exposed to soil or dust.
  • Take preventative anti-fungal medication if a doctor deems it necessary.

Sara E. Pratt

Sara E. Pratt

Pratt, EARTH's senior editor, is based in Boulder, Colo. She is a graduate of the earth and environmental science journalism dual master’s program at Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and has written for Discover, Oceanus, Geotimes, NOVA and NOVA ScienceNow, and worked in scientific publishing and educational outreach. Email: sepratt@earthmagazine.org. Twitter: @GeoScienceSara.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 02:00