In 1937 doctors first described a flu-like illness, which is not caused by viruses and bacteria. A disease was characterized by high fever, first was detected in Australia in Queensland. Q fever is an infectious disease of animals and humans, which is caused by a microorganism belonging to the group rickettsia. The disease is characterized by a number of pathways and a very diverse form of expression. In Europe, the disease was first detected in 1941 in the Balkans, and therefore sometimes called Balkan flu or fever. There are other names: the seven-day fever and slaughterhouses. Since the contamination comes from cows, sheep and goats, the disease are particularly vulnerable agricultural workers. At the end of the fourth decade of the XX century, epidemic of this disease was in Germany and Switzerland. Symptoms of the disease are similar to the symptoms of influenza and pneumonia. Q fever lasts 7 days (at least – up to 14 days). After the disease may still be some changes in the lungs and other organs.
- Temperature up to 40°C.
- Phlegm with blood.
- Pain in the testicles.
- Respiratory failure.
Q fever is an infectious disease, which is transmitted from person to person in rare cases. Infection occurs most often from sick animals. Contamination through tick bites is possible too. Carriers of the disease are also cats, dogs, rabbits. Causative agents of Q fever – Rickettsia, tiny bacteria – intracellular parasites. Contamination by inhalation of air, dust particles is possible, containing the selection of sick animals. Infection with human pathogens Q fever occurs at slaughter sick cow milk or by eating infected animal.
Protect against this infection is not possible. If you live in the countryside and raise cows, sheep, goats, horses, pigs and dogs, you need to have good personal hygiene. It is not recommended to drink fresh (unpasteurized or unboiled) milk.
When you have symptoms that resemble the flu, you should see your doctor.
Diagnose Q fever is not easy. Doctor will do serological and bacteriological analysis of blood. When the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor prescribes antibiotics.
Course of the disease
Distinct symptoms occur suddenly after about three weeks after infection. The bacteria are introduced into various tissue cells, there multiply, destroying cells, and spread further. Then an inflammation of the lungs and bronchi begins, and later the pleura, heart muscle, pancreas, ovaries in males and their appendages are affected. Brain damage may also occur in patients. If the bacteria enter the body through airborne droplets, the disease is primarily manifested by pneumonia, if with the milk – then the beginning of the disease will be liver inflammation and jaundice. The disease is manifested severe diarrhea, cough, headache, fever up to 39-40°C. Typically, the disease suddenly passes in seven days. But after the fatigue and headache may persist for a long time.
Is it a dangerous disease?
Due to inflammation of the brain or other vital organs, severe damage is possible. So patient with Q fever should be treated by a doctor. The physician should inform the medical services of a case of the disease in the region.
In the warmer months, it is better to avoid places with a high concentration of ticks. Also it is necessary to destroy the rodents, which carry the bacteria and carriers of Q fever.