These widespread practices in the Far West demonstrate how very wild the times were

Valley fever

Nasty fungal infections were a common and even permanent danger to the people of the Old West. Several diseases ravaged the population of that time and among them was this infection. In the Wild West, not dealing with the disease at every turn was regarded as a blessing. By now, it should be abundantly clear that Wild West society was not the most sanitary of environments. It was the ideal breeding ground for germs, thanks to the combination of unclean establishments and contaminated resources.

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A hard day spent riding the land or dragging a cart through nature is enough to make anyone a little hot and sweaty. And this is precisely the environment in which these various fungal infections like to develop. One of its particularly strong irritants was the fungus Coccidioids, which was prevalent in the territories of the American West. It gave rise to a nasty infection known as coccidioidomycosis or Valley Fever. Over time, settlements, where Illness had not broken out, became more unusual to find. Eventually, it became even more difficult to come across one that appeared to be in generally good condition or health.

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