The Zebra Among the Horses





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Published on May 28, 2014

Valley fever is the more common name for coccidioidomycosis - a relatively rare lung infection caused by the ingestion of a fungi commonly found in dirt, where it can easily be breathed into the lungs.

This 2013 documentary from the New Mexico Department of Health's Office of Border Health takes its title from medical slang. A "zebra" is known among physicians and clinicians as an exotic medical diagnosis made when a more common explanation is more likely. Dr. Theodore Woodward, a professor at the University of Maryland School Of Medicine in the 1940s is credited with coining the term. He told students. "When you hear hoof beats, think of horses not zebras".

The documentary describes valley fever, talks about the rising number of cases in most border states, and profiles several southern New Mexico patients suffering long term consequences from their infection.

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