The Supreme Council of Health has scotched rumours about the spread of a new pandemic known as Q-Fever. Q-Fever is a known infectious disease but it currently does not cause any concern worldwide, the SCHSCH said in a statement issued yesterday.
“Recently some news has been circulating about the spread of a new pandemic known as Q-Fever. The SCHSCH would like to inform the public that the disease is currently restricted to the Netherlands. Therefore it is not a disease that causes any concern right now,” said the statement.
Q-Fever is not a new disease and it was reported before in all continents. In 2009 around 2300 people around the world were infected with Q-Fever with 6 fatalities, added the statement.
The disease usually infects veterinarians, meat workers, dairy workers and farmers. The disease is caused by a species of bacteria known as Coxilla burnetii which comes out of cattle, sheep, goats cats, dogs and some wild animals.
Direct transfer of the disease from a human being to another is rare; however clothes of an infected person may transmit the disease. Symptoms are shown in high fever, severe headache, malaise, myalgia, confusion, sore throat, chills, sweat, non-productive cough, nausea, vomiting and stomach and chest pain.
Antibiotic treatment is quite effective, namely Doxycyclin. This treatment is most effective during the first three days of the illness. After full recovery the person may gain permanent immunity against the disease in the future.
Q-Fever outbreaks occur mainly due to occupational exposure involving veterinarians, meat processing plant workers, sheep and dairy workers, livestock farmers and researchers at facilities housing sheep.