Q Fever is a severe, acute febrile illness, which is a major problem in Australia and around the world. It is a zoonotic disease (i.e. spread from animals to humans) caused by the organism Coxiella burnetii.
Transmission to humans is generally via inhalation of contaminated aerosolised particles or ingestion of unpasteurised dairy products.
Q Fever is mainly thought to be an occupational hazard, but anyone who has been in contact with farm animals, or wild animals and their products, may be at risk.
Approximately 40% of people exposed to Coxiella burnetii develop Acute Q Fever, which in most cases the acute illness lasts 2–6 weeks. Of this group, approximately 10–30% of cases will develop Chronic Q Fever of which the most common form can last beyond one year and frequently more than 5–10 years.
Q Fever vaccinations involves two stages
- During first consultation Q Fever skin test and Blood test will be undertaken
- After one week if the tests are negative Q Fever vaccination will be administered
Once Q vax given lasts for life