Coxiellosis or Q Fever

ZOONOTIC CONCERN

Cause: Coxiella burnetii

Occurrence in Animals: Various wild and domestic species, particularly ruminants

Source in Animals: Placenta and amniotic fluids, also possible in milk and urine

Exposure: Inhalation or accidental ingestion

Symptoms:

  • ANIMALS:
    • Frequently asymptomatic
    • May cause abortion
  • HUMANS:
    • Acute fever, headache, weakness, fatigue
    • Pneumonia, hepatitis, heart valve infection
    • asymptomatic infection is possible
    • People with CHRONIC HEART CONDITIONS are at a greater risk and should consult with their physician before exposure

Precautions:

  • Good personal hygiene:
    • WASH HANDS¬†after handling animals and their environment
    • No eating, no drinking, no smoking around the animals
  • Healthy animals can shed microorganisms
  • Organisms can persist up to several months in the environment
  • Wear gloves to handle placenta or birth fluids
  • Face mask is recommended for additional protection
  • Barn clothes and boots can carry microorganisms to other areas
  • Do not drink raw, unpasteurized milk

Additional information about coxiellosis can be found at:

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