Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A tired farmer

A 62 year old farmer in New Mexico comes to the office with a 1 week history of malaise, fevers, cough, joint pain, and a headache. The patient denies smoking. A chest x-ray shows a 2 cm round nodule not present on prior x-rays.
What can cause this condition in this patient?
A) Histoplasmosis
B) Tuberculosis
C) Hamartoma
D) Lung cancer
E) Coccidiodes immitis
What is this condition called?
A) Death Valley Fever
B) San Joaquin Valley Fever
C) San Andreas chills
D) desert pneumonia
What can happen 1-2 weeks later?
A) diarrhea
B) vomitting
C) blurry vision
D) rash
E) erythema nodosum
F) erythema multiforme

Answer: This patient living in the southwest United States likely has an infection with Coccidiodes immitis. It is a flu like syndrome along with small nodules found on x-ray. The condition is called San Joaquin Valley Fever. Only 40% of those with the infection develop symptoms. 1-2 weeks later they can develop a rash, erythema nodosum, and erythema multiforme.

1. Brochert, Adam. Crush Step 2. 2nd. Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus, 2003.
2. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2763279
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