Q fever risk factors

Q fever bacteria are particularly hardy and infectious – a single bacterium is able to cause an infection.

That’s why a Q fever vaccination is important for anyone who may participate in risky activities with animals, including:

  • Abattoir workers
  • Farmers
  • Stockyard workers
  • Shearers
  • Animal transporters
  • Veterinarians, veterinary nurses and veterinary students
  • Professional dog and cat breeders
  • Agricultural college staff and students
  • Wildlife and zoo workers who work with high-risk animals
  • Animal refuge workers
  • Laboratory workers who handle veterinary specimens, or work with c. Burnetii
  • Other people exposed to high-risk animals, particularly cattle, camels, sheep, goats and kangaroos (including their products of conception, such as placental tissue and birth fluids)

Note that you should be vaccinated against Q fever before you start work, since the risk of infection is highest in the first few years.

If you have already had Q fever not only do you not need vaccination, but you may develop severe complications to the vaccine (including local abscesses and even Q fever symptoms).

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