First few Article Sentences
Kandis and Phillip Watson became alarmed when their normally energetic 6-year-old son, Kaden, grew increasingly tired. “When he stopped joking like he used to, we really knew something was wrong,” said Kandis.
The family from Visalia, Calif., soon learned Kaden contracted valley fever, a flu-like and potentially deadly illness caused by inhaling airborne spores of a dirt-dwelling fungus. Endemic throughout the southwestern United States and particularly prevalent in the southern San Joaquin Valley of Central California, the hard-to-detect disease can affect children and adults. In Kaden’s case, the disease enveloped his chest so severely his trachea narrowed to only 4 mm, allowing him to breathe through an opening the size of a straw.