Valley Fever: A timeline

Here’s a section of a MetsBlog post from Feb. 23, 2012:

9:19 am:Ike Davis is back in Mets camp, according to SNY’s Matt Dunn.

The team told Dunn that Ike’s physical showed an infection in his lung, but after being checked out in New York, he’s been cleared to resume workouts.

He feels no effects of it and he’s been told it will go away, though he will continue to be monitored.

Here’s a section of a Mets.com report from March 3, 2012:

Davis is not the picture of health. He has, in fact, contracted Valley or Desert Fever, a malady that can interfere with a season and even end a career….

Davis, who lives in Arizona in the offseason, says he has experienced no symptoms. “I feel normal. I don’t feel anything,” he said.

Here’s the Mets’ statement on Davis’ condition, also from March 3, 2012:

Ike Davis underwent a routine physical exam after his arrival in PSL.  The exam included an abnormal chest X-ray.  Following additional tests here and in NYC, pulmonary and infectious disease specialists have concluded that Ike likely has Valley Fever, which is expected to resolve itself over time.  Ike is not contagious, is not taking any medication for his condition and does not currently exhibit any of the outward symptoms associated with Valley Fever.  However, Ike has been instructed to avoid extreme fatigue.  No additional tests or examinations are pending, but Ike will have a follow up exam when the team returns to NYC in early April.

Here’s some sections of the National Institute of Health’s page for Valley Fever:

Most people with Valley fever never have symptoms….

The disease almost always goes away without treatment.

So we’ve got: In February, a test in Port St. Lucie shows something on Davis’ lung that requires him to fly back to New York for more tests. The tests reveal an infection, but Davis has no symptoms and is cleared to resume playing, though he will be monitored.

In March, it comes out that the name of the infection is Valley Fever, Davis still has no symptoms and is still playing and still being monitored. Both the NIH and Mayo Clinic‘s websites confirm that most people with Valley Fever never show symptoms. The Internet freaks the f@#$ out.

I’m leaving out the facts that seem to be terrifying most Mets fans — that in some cases Valley Fever can be serious, and that Conor Jackson’s career was derailed by the same disease in 2009, though Jackson’s case wasn’t diagnosed until after he already had symptoms and it led to pneumonia. That is presumably why the Mets are monitoring Davis’ condition.

It’s not good business to defend the Mets’ medical staff these days, but it’s hard to see what the major issue is here. We knew Davis had a lung infection, that he had no symptoms, that he was being monitored and that he was cleared to play. Today we learned that the asymptomatic lung infection for which he is being monitored is called Valley Fever. Hard to see how it merits the type of woe-is-me LOLMets stuff spilling out in all corners.

Davis went through his scheduled Spring Training routine today: stretching, then infield, then batting practice, then four innings of the Mets’ intrasquad game. About five hours of baseball activity in the Florida heat, plus whatever cage work and weightlifting he might have done before and after. Then he talked to me about Daniel Murphy’s defense and sandwiches for a few minutes. He seemed tired, but no more than I was and not at all sick.

Here’s hoping he stays healthy. It sure seems like the panic is premature.

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