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Q fever

An uncommon illness giving symptoms that are comparable to those of influenza. Q fever is seen all over the world.


Q fever is caused by the rickettsia (a form of small bacterium) COXIELLA BURNETII and can be contracted by inhaling dust contaminated with urine, faeces, or birth products from inflicted farm animals. Hardly ever, it is spread by tick bites.


Symptoms arise suddenly roughly 2 days after infection. These include severe headache, chest and muscle pains, high fever (lasting up to two weeks), and a cough. Many people do recover but the disease is occasionally prolonged: sometimes, hepatitis (liver inflammation) or endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart) can arise.

Diagnosis and treatment

After diagnosis is confirmed by a blood test, treatment is with anti biotic drugs. A vaccine is available for those people at risk.

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