Q Fever Overview
What is Q fever?
Q fever is a bacterial infection that affects the heart, lungs, liver and other parts of the body. The bacteria responsible for Q fever are most commonly carried by farm animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle. Inhaling barnyard dust from contaminated animals can lead to infection. This infection can also be transmitted to humans through feces, milk, or urine of sheep, goats, cattle, dogs, cats, birds, rodents and ticks (but not through tick bites).
What are the symptoms of Q fever?
Symptoms of Q fever usually take about 20 days to develop after exposure. Initial symptoms of Q fever include headache, fever, muscle pains, cough, clay colored stool, and chest pain. Additional symptoms of this infection may include a prolonged fever, chills, night sweating, shortness of breath and fatigue.
How does the doctor treat Q fever?
In most cases, Q fever clears up within a few weeks with no treatment. Treatment for severe Q fever may include antibiotics. Some forms of the disease result in prolonged infection, which may require surgery in addition to antibiotics.
Continue to Q Fever Symptoms
- Hartzell JD, Wood-Morris RN, Martinez LJ, Trotta RF. Q fever: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 May;83(5):574-9. 
- Mediannikov O, Fenollar F, Socolovschi C, Diatta G, Bassene H, Molez JF, Sokhna C, Trape JF, Raoult D. Coxiella burnetii in humans and ticks in rural Senegal. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010 Apr 6;4(4):e654.