Conor Jackson recovering from Valley Fever, Pneumonia and Plague. Well, almost.

The Republic reports that Conor Jackson appears to have found the cause of what's been ailing him. "Jackson said he was told after seeing an infectious-disease doctor this week that he had valley fever that led to pneumonia." Ouch. Hard to think of a more debilitating double-whammy. For the uninitiated, valley fever is a fungal disease caused by spores in the soil. When the earth is disturbed, these spores can travel through the air and be inhaled. It's most common across the Southwest - in 2007, it affected about one person per thousand in Maricopa County, but that's only cases severe enough to be reported. By some estimates, one Arizonan in three has had it at some point, though few seek any kind of medical attention.

It is treatable with antifungals, but the symptoms are vague enough - fever, cough, headaches and muscle pain - that it's often mistaken for the flu or something similar. That seems possibly to have been the case here: the first signs of sickness hit the reigning SnakePit MVP during the trip to San Francisco in the middle of April, so he has not been 100% for almost the entire season. It was only when it developed into pneumonia, according to Jackson, that a diagnosis was achieved and he ended up on the DL. He's been confined to bed since and today was the first time he'd left home in about a week, but there's absolutely no timetable for his return.

Jackson said, "I haven't lifted a weight, I haven't run, in three weeks pretty much. We haven't even talked about timetable. One doctor told me, 'You're going to be fatigued for the rest of the year.' The infectious-disease guy said everybody reacts differently, so I don't know what to expect." However, I wouldn't expect it to be anytime soon: According to the Mayo Clinic, "The course of the disease is highly variable. It can take from six months to a year to fully recover, and fatigue and joint aches can last even longer. The severity of the disease depends on several factors, including your overall health and the number of fungus spores you inhale."

However, at least he didn't get the really serious version, where the infection breaks out of the lungs. That can lead to nodules, ulcers, swollen joints and even meningitis, which is when the disease can become fatal, though that happens in only a tiny fraction of cases. We should be grateful for that. Get well soon, Conor: we want you back on the team, but not until you are fully healthy again.

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