Skip to content

Work with animals or in animal habitats? Need to know info about Q FEVER

Queensland historically has a high rate of Q fever cases, and those numbers are on the rise. Q fever is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii and can be carried by most animals.

It is commonly carried by cattle, sheep, goats, kangaroos, bandicoots, dogs and cats, and can stay alive in soil for decades. Animals may not appear sick but can shed the germ in their urine, faeces, milk and birthing products.

People can become infected by inhaling contaminated dusts or droplets from animal products and environments. In some people, Q fever can cause mild flu-like symptoms, but others can be come acutely ill. About 20 per cent of cases develop into a fatigue syndrome, that can last more than 12 months. Around five percent of cases develop into chronic Q fever which can cause heart problems.

Further information

Find more information about Q fever, animal handling and managing the risks of exposure to Q Fever.