Every year, there are some hundred and fifty cases of coccidioidomycosis, otherwise known as valley fever, or cocci, a disease caused by inhaling the microscopic spores of Coccidioides immitis, a soil-dwelling fungus found in Bakersfield, California. Cocci is endemic to the desert Southwest and to the semi-arid parts of Central and South America. Digging stirs it up, and dry, hot windy conditions, a regional feature intensified by climate change, disperse it. In recent years, infections have risen dramatically. Officials at the Center for Disease Control call it a “silent epidemic,” far more destructive than had been previously recognized. There is no vaccine to protect against it and, in the most severe cases, no cure.