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Potentially deadly valley fever is hitting California farmworkers hard, worrying researchers
NBC News

Victor Gutierrez contracted valley fever, an illness caused by a soil-borne fungus, and he thinks he got it in the summer of 2011 when he worked in the nectarine orchards of California’s dry, dusty Central Valley.

“The wind was really strong, and we were almost falling off our ladders,” Gutierrez said. “The dust would rise up in the fields and we would get lost in [it].”

Then again, he might have contracted it during that year’s grape harvest. “We would walk out of the vineyard with our faces full of dirt. Only our eyes were visible,” Gutierrez said. When he showered at night, he could see the layer of soil washing off his body.

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