LAMONT, Calif. — Victor Gutierrez contracted valley fever, an illness caused by a soil-borne fungus, and he thinks he got it in the summer of 2011 when he worked in the nectarine orchards of California’s dry, dusty Central Valley.

“The wind was really strong, and we were almost falling off our ladders,” Gutierrez said. “The dust would rise up in the fields and we would get lost in [it].”

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AuthorTwilight Greenaway