We in sunny Arizona are also acquainted with Valley Fever. The
offending microorganism is a fungus, not a virus. The medical term
for valley fever is coccidioidomycosis (sp?), the term "mycosis"
referring to a fungal infection. The offending fungus grows in the
hot, dry, alkaline soil of our southwestern deserts, and "blooms"
during heavy rains, which is when we are most at risk for spore
Most viruses afflict specific species, which is why we two-legged
folk don’t get distemper or kennel cough, and why our dogs don’t catch
our colds and flu. It seems more likely that cutters would develop
health problems from the inhalation of the ivory dust itself, rather
than from a microorganism present in the ivory itself.