Additional Reports Of 'Q' Fever Reported In Grant County
GRANT COUNTY, WA – Grant County Health District (GCHD) is investigating additional reports of human cases of Q fever, a bacterial disease primarily caused from contact with goats, sheep and cattle.
On Monday, June 13, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent a Q fever team to Grant County. GCHD and the Washington State Department of Health are cooperating with the CDC on the investigation. Questions about the CDC's investigation should be sent to Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez at Ebz0@cdc.gov.
GCHD is communicating with the medical community with updates and Q fever testing recommendations. Concerns regarding family members health should be directed the family doctor. Animal health questions should be directed to a veterinarian or the WA State Dept of Agriculture: (360) 902-1878. Media questions for WSDA can be directed to Jason Kelly at (360) 902-1815.
Q fever does not spread from person to person. The bacteria that causes Q fever is most often found in the urine, feces, and milk of infected farm animals such as cattle, goats, and sheep. However, the number of bacteria is highest in birthing fluids and after-birth, putting people at greatest risk for getting the disease when around infected animals that are giving birth. There are no milk products known to have circulated from the herds being investigated in Grant County. Eating meat does not cause Q fever.
Q fever Symptoms:
Only about one-half of all people infected with Q fever show immediate signs of illness. Most cases begin with one or more of the following symptoms:
• high fevers (up to 104-105°F)
• severe headache
• general malaise (You don't feel like you usually feel)
• muscle aches
• chills and/or sweats
• non-productive cough
• stomach pain
• chest pain
Although most persons with Q fever recover, others can have serious illness that can include pneumonia, inflammation of the liver and heart, and central nervous system complications. Treatment with antibiotics may shorten the illness. In rare cases, the illness can carry on for long periods of time.
Who's at greatest risk for complications from Q fever?
The people at highest risk for Q fever complications are pregnant women, people with weak immune systems and patients with heart valve defects. People in these groups should be cautious when in contact with goats, sheep or cattle, and should not participate in birthing processes.
For more information on Q fever visit www.cdc.gov/qfever/index.html.
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