‘Query fever’ – usually shortened to ‘Q fever’, was named by Dr John Derrick, who described an outbreak of a febrile illness that occurred among abattoir workers in 1935. He gave the blood from some of his patients to two microbiologists; Sir MacFarlane-Burnet and Dr R. Freeman, who injected it into guinea pigs and isolated the organism responsible – a bacterium belonging to the rickettsial family now called Coxiella burnetii.
About half of Australian cases of Q fever occur in Queensland, with around 9 people affected each year per 100,000 people. This can be as high as 200 per 100,000 people in some rural shires. Q fever is one of the most common diseases that humans contract from animals.
Every year, hundreds of Australians are diagnosed with Q fever, a disease so serious it’s a class B biological warfare threat. Those most at risk are people who work with farm animals, particularly during times of drought. So with the forecast of dry times ahead, Landline is asking how well prepared is Australia to deal with a Q fever outbreak?
If you think you are at risk of Q fever
Call us on 07 3221 9066 and speak to our friendly team.