Science Inventory

Economic valuation of coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) projections in the United States in response to climate change


Economic valuation of coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) projections in the United States in response to climate change. Weather, Climate, and Society. American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA, 13(1):107-123, (2021).


Estimating climate-related damages resulting from Valley Fever in the U.S. Southwest


Coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever, is an infectious fungal disease currently endemic to the southwestern United States. Symptoms of valley fever range in severity from flu-like illness to severe morbidity and mortality. Warming temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns may cause the area of endemicity to expand northward throughout the western United States, putting more people at risk for contracting valley fever. This may increase the health and economic burdens from this disease. We developed an approach to describe the relationship between climate conditions and valley fever incidence using historical data and generated projections of future incidence in response to both climate change and population trends using the Climate Change Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) framework developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We also developed a method to estimate economic impacts of valley fever that is based on case counts. For our 2000–15 baseline time period, we estimated annual medical costs, lost income, and economic welfare losses for valley fever in the United States were $400,000 per case, and the annual average total cost was $3.9 billion per year. For a high greenhouse gas emission scenario and accounting for population growth, we found that total annual costs for valley fever may increase up to 164% by year 2050 and up to 380% by 2090. By the end of the twenty-first century, valley fever may cost $620,000 per case and the annual average total cost may reach $18.5 billion per year. This work contributes to the broader effort to monetize climate change–attributable damages in the United States.

Record Details:

Product Published Date:01/01/2021
Record Last Revised:06/27/2023
OMB Category:Other
Record ID: 358190