Q fever – Chile

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Multiple cases of suspected Q fever in Los Lagos, Chile.

Manuka dairy company in Puerto Octay found two suspected cases of Q fever.

A young man had muscular and respiratory complaints.

A second young 28-year-old female veterinarian was transferred in serious condition to Santiago, after arriving at the Osorno Base Hospital from the Puerto Octay Hospital with respiratory distress. The patient tested negative for coronavirus and hanta, but there is a suspicion of Q fever. She is in the ICU of the Las Condes clinic, on ECMO.

Photo: A dry fracture of a Vero cell exposing the contents of a vacuole where Coxiella burnetii are growing.

Q fever or query fever is a disease caused by infection with Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium that affects humans and other animals. This organism is uncommon, but may be found in cattle, sheep, goats, and other domestic mammals, including cats and dogs. The infection results from inhalation of a spore-like small-cell variant, and from contact with the milk, urine, feces, vaginal mucus, or semen of infected animals. Rarely, the disease is tick-borne.

The most common manifestation is flu-like symptoms: abrupt onset of fever, malaise, profuse perspiration, severe headache, muscle pain, joint pain, loss of appetite, upper respiratory problems, dry cough, pleuritic pain, chills, confusion, and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. About half of infected individuals exhibit no symptoms.

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