Q fever is a disease caused by infection with Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that affects humans and other animals. Q fever is usually a mild disease with flu-like symptoms. Many people have no symptoms at all. In a small percentage of people, the infection can resurface years later. This more deadly form of Q fever can damage your heart, liver, brain and lungs.
Q fever is transmitted to humans by animals, most commonly sheep, goats and cattle. When you inhale barnyard dust particles contaminated by infected animals, you may become infected. High-risk occupations include farming, veterinary medicine and animal research.
Incubation period is usually two to three weeks. The most common manifestation is mild flu-like symptoms with:
Onset of fever
Myalgia (muscle pain)
Loss of appetite
Upper respiratory problems
Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting anddiarrhea. The fever lasts approximately 7 to 14 days.
Your doctor may want to check your blood for antibodies to the Coxiella burnetii antigen and for evidence of liver damage.
Chest X-ray. Q fever can cause pneumonia in some people. A chest X-ray can be used to see if your lungs look healthy.
Antibiotics can be used for Q fever like doxycycline or tetracycline.
In pregnant women as doxycycline and ciprofloxacin are contraindicated in pregnancy. The preferred treatment is five weeks of co-trimoxazole