is multiplying in the U.S. Southwest. The condition involves a fungal spore that carries coccidioidomycosis; once breathed in through contact with soil, it apparently has no cure. When gusts of wind rise up, the spores can be brought through town, infecting new sufferers. Cases have skyrocketed in the last several years.
From the article:
Described by the Centers for Disease Control as a silent epidemic, 22,401 new infections were recorded across the US in 2011, mostly in the south-west, up tenfold from 1998.
Although two-thirds of those infected suffer no symptoms, and the illness is not contagious, about 160 people die each year when the fungus spreads beyond the lungs to the brain.