DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Q fever usually is a mild disease with flu-like symptoms. Many people have no symptoms at all. But in a small percentage of people, the infection can resurface years later. This more deadly form of Q fever can damage your heart, liver, brain and lungs.
Q fever is transmitted to humans by animals, most commonly sheep, goats and cattle. When you inhale barnyard dust particles contaminated by infected animals, you may become infected. High-risk occupations include farmers, veterinarians and people who work with sheep in research labs.
The mild form of Q fever typically clears up within a few weeks with no treatment. But if Q fever recurs, you may need to take a combination of antibiotics for at least 18 months.
- Q fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/qfever/index.html. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Marrie TJ, et al. Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). In: Mandell JE, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Raoult D. Clinical features, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Q fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Raoult D. Microbiology and epidemiology of Q fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Cristofaro P, et al. Q fever. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed May 6, 2011.