Q fever – Spain

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Eight cases of ‘Q fever’ were detected in Asturias, Spian.

It was the health professionals of the San Agustín de Avilés Hospital who sounded the alarm when five patients were admitted in a few days with symptoms compatible with ‘Q fever’.

The sources of the cases are being identified.

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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