If you work closely with animals, especially cattle, sheep, goats or kangaroos, you can protect yourself and your workers with a Q fever vaccination.
While workplaces everywhere are managing the risks from COVID 19, it is worth remembering that workers also can become infected with Q fever by inhaling contaminated aerosols and dust from:
- animals, animal products and waste (e.g. milk, wool, hides, fur, urine, faeces and birth products)
- animal environments (e.g. soil, bedding, straw, hay and grass)
- other contaminated items (e.g. machinery, equipment, vehicles and clothing).
Less commonly, infection occurs from consuming raw milk, tick bites and person to person.
There are hundreds of cases of Q fever reported in Queensland each year, with animal industry sector workers being among the highest risk categories. For this reason, non-immune employers, contractors and workers in the animal handling, processing and transport sectors are strongly advised to be vaccinated against Q fever.
A Q fever vaccination is the most effective measure to protect against infection. Holding a Q fever card that shows you have immunity to Q fever will also give employers or business associates confidence your visits to high risk workplaces won’t be putting you or others in harm’s way.
If vaccination is not possible, suitable respiratory protection that has been fit tested for the user must be provided. Read more about Q Fever and fit testing masks.