What is Q Fever?
Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, a species of bateria that is distributed globally. Many human infections are inapparent.
Cattle, sheep and goats are the primary reservoirs of C. Burnetii; however, it does not usually cause clinical disease in these animals. Infection of humans occurs by inhalation of contaminated air, ingestion of contaminated milk, tick bites and human to human transmission (although this is extremely rare).
Only about one-half of all people infected with C. burnetii show signs of clinical illness. Most acute cases of Q fever begin with sudden onset of one or more of the following: high fevers (up to 104-105° F), severe headache,
confusion, sore throat, chills, sweats, non-productive cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and chest pain. Fever usually lasts for 1 to 2 weeks. Weight loss can occur and persist for some time. Thirty to fifty percent of patients with a symptomatic infection will develop pneumonia. Additionally, a majority of patients have abnormal results on liver function tests and some will develop hepatitis.
In general, most patients will recover to good health within several months without any treatment. Only 1%-2% of people with acute Q fever die of the disease.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
Get more information on Q Fever from the Centers for Disease Control.