Sunday, January 29, 2017
This an infectious disease caused by a bacteria, Coxiella burnetti and its found worldwide. The bacteria naturally infects some animals, such as goats, sheep and cattle. C. burnetii bacteria are found in the birth materials such as placenta, amniotic fluid and also in urine, feces, and milk of infected animals. The disease is of zoonotic importance people who have close contact with farm animals such as farm workers, vets, abattoir staff and livestock agents carry the greatest risk of contracting Q fever. Abattoir workers are at risk of infection when working on pregnant animals. Farmers must be careful when assisting at calving and avoid direct contact with afterbirth materials. Aborted fetuses and afterbirth should be disposed of safely by burning. The Q fever bacteria is very tough and can survive for months in the environment as infected animals shed the organism in urine, milk, feces and placental fluids. Contact with fetuses and fetal membranes from aborted animals can expose individuals to high doses of infective material. Animals are infected with the Q fever organism by inhaling or ingesting infected material such as urine, milk, feces or after-birth from infected animals. People are infected most frequently by inhaling infected material from these same sources or from environmental contamination. Wind borne transmission of the organism in dust is an important source of infection. Animals with Q fever are not treated, but infected people should receive prompt medical attention to relieve symptoms and avoid serious complications.Tetracycline and doxycline are drugs of choice for treatment although a vaccine is also available for prevention.