Q fever

Report within 24 hours of Diagnosis to the Local Health Department.

Q fever is a disease caused by Coxiella burnetii bacteria and is found in some animals, such as goats, sheep and cattle. Veterinarians, meat processing plant workers, sheep and dairy workers, etc. are at highest risk for Q fever. Humans become infected by inhaling dust contaminated by infected animal feces, urine, milk and birth products. The severity of the illness can range from mild to a severe illness with endocarditis, pneumonia or hepatitis. Mild symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, muscle aches, confusion, sore throat and dry cough. Most people recover within several months without any treatment, however antibiotics may be used to shorten the duration of the illness and prevent chronic infection. Q fever does not spread from person to person.

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Last Reviewed: 2/22/2021