Q Fever

Q fever

By DMV 360

In humans, Q fever, or infection with the rickettsia Coxiella burnetii, may be evidenced by chills, severe headache behind the eyes, weakness, malaise and night sweats. There is a great deal of variation in severity and duration of symptoms in man, but few sheep or goats develop clinical disease other than occasional abortion. Small ruminants may transmit the rickettsia in their wool, urine, feces, blood, placental membranes, and aborted fetuses. Aerosol transmission may occur when cleaning barns, during slaughter or when performing a cesarean section, so face masks, protective clothing and gloves should be worn for these procedures. Pregnant women should not have contact with parturition in sheep or goats. This organism spreads readily in the wind, and human cases have occurred even up to a mile away from the infected sheep or goats.