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6-26 FB Q Fever
by David Sparks, Ph.D., click here for bio
Program: Idaho Agribusiness Today
Date: June 26, 12
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The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) Division of Animal Industries is investigating a confirmed detection of Q Fever in an Idaho goat herd. ISDA has quarantined the herd to prevent further spread of the disease. I have to confess that I had never heard of Q fever so I called Dr. Scott Leibsle from The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) Division of Animal Industries. “The causative organism for Q Fever is the bacteria, Coxiella burnetii, which has been known to cause abortion/stillbirths in livestock – typically goats, sheep and cattle. The disease can be contagious to humans and most often is passed through contact with fetal membranes or birthing fluids of affected animals or may be inhaled if the bacterial particle becomes aerosolized. Human symptoms typically include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.”
ISDA encourages all livestock owners/handlers to be aware of the signs of illness and contact their veterinarian if animals display symptoms of Q Fever. The best measures to prevent illness include, but are not limited to:
- Disinfect boots and clothing worn where animals have recently birthed. Wear masks and gloves and immediately dispose of soiled bedding, placentas and aborted fetuses.
- Routine sanitation of all livestock facilities such as milk parlors, holding pens and birthing pens.
- Limit foot traffic to affected areas
- Individuals with weakened immune systems should avoid areas where infected animals have recently given birth.
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