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Never Thought I Would Catch “the Fever:” Andrea Rivera, 34, Delano.

 Andrea Rivera, 34, of Delano, never thought she would catch "the fever."

I've lived in the valley my whole life and, until 2009, I never thought that I would catch "the fever." I had just had my second child, who was five weeks old. I started to develop welts on my legs, my feet were swollen and I could not bend my right leg below the knee. I also had a low-grade fever. I went to urgent care where they gave me a shot of an antibiotic and prescribed me a very strong form of another antibiotic. Two days after my urgent care visit, my feet became so swollen that I could barely walk, plus I developed a 101 temperature. My mom convinced me to see her primary care physician in Delano. The moment he walked into my room and looked at my legs, he said I had valley fever. I could not believe it. I thought valley fever consisted of fatigue, shortness of breath, pneumonia, coughing, and fever. Now I know those welts were also an indication. He put me on the anti-fungal Diflucan and said I was very lucky it was caught before it developed into something more serious. I was on Diflucan for six months. Now,three years later, I'm symptom free, but I understand I will always have the disease in my body. I pray my immune system is never compromised. It breaks my heart to hear of those who did not survive the fever or of those who have had lasting effects because of it. I think physicians need to know all symptoms and side effects of this disease, and need to test for this disease immediately


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