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Q Fever

Q Fever Causes

Q fever is mainly caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetti. C. burnetti can be transmitted to humans via consumption of milk as well as inhalation of urine and fecal waste of infected animals. The bacteria are resistant to drying, heat and other disinfectants.

Q Fever Definition

Q fever is an infectious disease spread by infected cattle and other animals. It is caused by specie of bacteria named Coxiella burnetti. It first became known in the United States in 1999. When cultured, the bacteria can be a potential form of biological warfare, just like anthrax.

Q Fever Diagnosis

Diagnostic procedures for Q fever involve platelet count, serologic testing and indirect immunofluoresence assay. Laboratory testing is therefore important since the symptoms of Q fever do not directly indicate the presence of the disease.

Q Fever Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of Q fever include sudden onset of high fever, headache, myalgia, sore throat, chills, general malaise, nausea, coughing, and vomiting. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are also present. The fever may go on and off for 1 to 2 weeks. Other patients meanwhile succumb to pneumonia or hepatitis, depending on where the bacteria settled.

Q Fever Treatment

Q fever resolves itself after a few months without treatment. Doxycycline meanwhile is administered to Q fever. Antibiotic treatments become effective when given during the first three days of the disease. Infected animals are subject to quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease.

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