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UNSEEN RISKS OF PROSPECTING


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I am curious as to what types of illnesses us weekend prospectors are subject to from playing around in the dirt and dust and creeks and what we can do to protect ourselves. I guess the first one that comes to mind is valley fever and perhaps west nile virus. Were also possible fooling around with mercury, arsenic, and uranium.

I was doing some heavy crevicing and panning in a creek last weekend in Arizona and came down with a horrible virus. Fever lasted 4 days, etc.. not sure if the virus was connected to the water or microbes or just something I picked up some where.

Thoughts?

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Hello OS, yes Valley Fever is definitely there. My Uncle and Dad both had it. They both had worked in the Anaconda copper mine outside of Tucson. I grew up in Tucson myself. My Uncle never completely got over it but lived with it. I think it probably attributed to my Father's death in the end. Ok just wanted to say hi and respond to your query. Be careful.

John Tomlinson,CET,KA5QYR :icon_mrgreen: :headphones: :twocents:

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Hello OS, yes Valley Fever is definitely there. My Uncle and Dad both had it. They both had worked in the Anaconda copper mine outside of Tucson. I grew up in Tucson myself. My Uncle never completely got over it but lived with it. I think it probably attributed to my Father's death in the end. Ok just wanted to say hi and respond to your query. Be careful.

John Tomlinson,CET,KA5QYR :icon_mrgreen: :headphones: :twocents:

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Where any rodent droppings in the dirt you were working? They can carry any number of sicknesses. Valley Fever has virus-like symptoms, but I believe it actually is a type of fungus and very difficult to cure once it gets established in your lung tissue (in some people, never completely). If your symptoms do not abate, it would be advisable to get tested soon because the earlier you begin treating it, the better your chances.

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Guest Potholes Bob-NM

Most of us who have lived in the South West for years, and regularly prospect, or frequent the desert, have had Valley Fever, the desert soil is fairly teeming with its spores!

It comes on like the Flu, and can be mild to severe. I understand that once you've had it, you can't get it again.

The Hanta Virus is Deadly, strikes quickly, and has a very high rate of mortality, even when treated in a hospital right away. If you had that, chances are that you wouldn't be around to write about it!

The CDC( under Gov.) web site has some great Info. on both of these!

Cheers!

Bob

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Thanks guys. It is day 6 since I got sick and am feeling pretty good so far as of today. Just a little weak, etc. Never had a fever last that long. Not sure what it was. I didn't see any signs of mouse droppings. Just don't know what got me. The nurse told me that there is an unusual amount of virus's going around. I think I will try to be a little more careful about dust in the future and also be mindful of any cuts, etc on my hands if I am crevicing and panning.

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