Kern County Public Health is now offering skin tests for Coccidioides to the public. This skin test can detect whether you have developed an immune response to the fungus Coccidioides, the cause of Valley fever.
Although the skin test is not used to make a Valley Fever diagnosis (a healthcare provider must order a blood test for Valley Fever), it is a tool that can provide information about a person’s medical history and provide insight to their risk of getting Valley Fever in the future. No physician referral is required to get the skin test and it is available to the community at our Public Health Clinic located at 1800 Mt. Vernon Avenue for a cost of $77.00. The test involves getting a small injection on the inside of your forearm, similar to a skin test for tuberculosis. 48 hours later, clinic staff measure the size of the bump to determine the result. The Valley Fever skin test will be available Monday – Wednesday.
A positive test result means that you have an immune response to Coccidioides because of a past or current Coccidioides infection. Some people with a positive test result have been sick with Valley fever, which can cause a flu-like illness and other symptoms, but many people with a positive test have not had symptoms from the infection. A positive skin test generally means that you are immune to Coccidioides and will likely not get Valley Fever in the future.
For more information or to make an appointment for a skin test call 661-321-3000.