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Can you get workers’ compensation for Valley Fever in California?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Blog, Workers' Compensation |

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is an infection caused by a fungus that lives in the soil in parts of the southwestern United States, especially California. The fungus causes Valley Fever infection after inhalation.

As a worker in California, you should understand Valley Fever and how workers’ compensation could apply if you contract it.

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of Valley Fever include fatigue, cough, fever, headache, night sweats, muscle aches or joint pain and rash. Most people recover completely within a few months, but fatigue and weakness can last longer. In a small percentage of people, the infection spreads from the lungs to cause meningitis or infections in the bones, joints or skin. These severe cases may require antifungal medications or surgery.

Can you get workers’ compensation if you get sick?

Outdoor workers in jobs involving soil disturbance, such as construction, agriculture, archeology and military training, are most likely to experience exposure to the Coccidioides fungus on the job. The CDC recorded over 9,000 cases of Valley Fever in California in 2019, many of those from occupational exposure.

If you receive a work-related Valley Fever diagnosis, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. This can cover medical treatment and partial wage replacement benefits for the time you have to take off work.

The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and appealing denials may seem challenging. Ensure that your case is properly documented for the best chance of approval. Although most patients recover well, effects such as chronic fatigue can still affect their ability to work. Workers’ compensation benefits can help offset the financial effects in those instances.