Q fever is a serious bacterial infection caused by inhaling dust particles contaminated by infected animal secretions.
Q fever is a serious bacterial infection caused by inhaling dust particles contaminated by infected animal secretions. Matt Collins

Spike in Q fever prompts vaccination call on Nth Rivers

THE local health district is warning people to get vaccinated and take other steps to guard against Q fever, as drought and dusty conditions may increase the risk of the disease spreading.

The Assistant Director of the North Coast Public Health Unit, Greg Bell, said so far this year there have been 16 confirmed cases of Q fever in the Northern NSW area. In 2018 there were 28 confirmed cases of the disease in the area.

Mr Bell said the region typically averages between 25-35 cases each year.

"Q fever is a serious bacterial infection caused by inhaling dust particles contaminated by infected animal secretions that does not just affect farmers or people who deal with livestock,” Mr Corben said.

"The infection is carried by cattle, goats, sheep and other domesticated and wild animals, so people who work on the land are most at risk.

"However, the bacteria can easily be carried on farm tools or work clothes.”

The vaccine is recommended for people who work in high risk occupations and anyone over 15 years who has the potential to be exposed to Q fever.



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