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Mystery Illness In Farmers And Visitors?
Rare Disease of the Month

Mystery Illness In Farmers And Visitors?

Overview

Q fever is a disease caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. This bacteria naturally infects some animals, such as goats, sheep, and cattle. C. burnetii bacteria are found in the birth products (i.e. placenta, amniotic fluid), urine, feces, and milk of infected animals.

People can get infected by breathing in dust that has been contaminated by infected animal feces, urine, milk, and birth products. Some people never get sick; however, those who do usually develop flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain.

About 50% people infected with Coxiella burnetii get ill. Illness typically develops 2-3 weeks after being exposed to the bacteria. Signs and symptoms of Q fever may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss
  • Non-productive cough

Symptoms can be mild or severe. People who develop severe disease may experience infection of the lungs (pneumonia) or liver (hepatitis).

https://www.cdc.gov/qfever/index.html


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