Q Fever Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Q Fever

What Is Q Fever ?

It is an infection triggered by Coxiella burnetii, a bacterium. Often, the mild instances of Q fever roots minor flu-like signs, whereas some may develop no indications at all. In rare instances, the infection tends to resurface after years. The specific form of the infection can cause great damage to the lungs, brain, liver and heart. In addition to its characteristics, the bacterium known to cause Q fever spread in humans from animals, specifically from cattle, goats and sheep. Breathing in the contaminated dust particles from the areas surrounded by farm animals, serves as the basis to make you become infected. People from the following occupations are at an increased risk of Q fever:

  • Farming.
  • Animal research.
  • Veterinary medicine.

Often, people suffering from its mild form recover with antibiotics. Though, in case the infection recurs, then the patient is prescribed a long course of antibiotics, of about 18 months or so.

What Are The Symptoms Of Q Fever ?

Many patients infected with the bacterium never develop any signs. However, in case signs do tend to appear, these would include:

  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea.
  • Cough.
  • Fatigue.
  • Intense headache.
  • High temperature.

What Causes Q Fever ?

As mentioned earlier, a bacterium named Coxiella burnetii, is responsible for causing Q fever. The bacteria commonly prevail in cattle, goats and sheep. Coxiella burnetii can even infect your pets.
In addition to this, the infected animals spread the bacteria by means of their milk, feces and urine. After the sources of bacterium dry, coxiella burnetii mixes with the air in the environment, of the barnyard. Breathing in the contaminated dust makes one become infected.

What Are The Complications Of Q Fever ?

Recurrence of infection tends to affect the brain, lungs, liver and heart. Indeed, the crucial organs of the body after being affected can root a number of life-threatening complications, including:

In addition to the complications, chronic infection raises the chances of complications in an otherwise normal pregnancy, including:

  • Miscarriage.
  • Stillbirth.
  • Premature birth.
  • Low birth weight.

How Is Q Fever Diagnosis ?

In case of being suspected, the doctor can suggest a particular or more blood tests, in combination with several other tests to rule out the possibility of Q fever. These additional tests include:

  • Lab tests.

Imaging tests:

  • Chest X-ray.
  • Echocardiography.

How Is Q Fever Treatment ?

The treatment of Q fever, like the other bacterial illnesses comprises of antibiotics. Usually, doctors suggest antibiotic doxycycline. However, the duration of antibiotic usage depends upon whether the patient is suffering from chronic or acute infection.

More specifically, for cases of acute infection, the doctors normally suggest a course of 2-3 weeks. However; individuals with chronic infection must continue the usage of antibiotics for minimum 18 months duration. It is important to complete your antibiotic course, as prescribed by your doctor.

By : Natural Health News


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