Q Fever Australia

The nations Largest provider of Q Fever screening and vaccinations.

Who is at risk of contracting Q Fever?

As an employer you need to know who is at risk

Keep your family and staff safe

Our Doctors can ensure you, your family or your employees are safe from Q Fever.

If you are concerned about contracting Q Fever, call Q Fever Australia now to book an appointment.

We pride ourselves in working with employers and individuals to ensure Australians are protected from this debilitating virus.

Q Fever Australia uses the safe and effective vaccine (Q-VAX®) to prevent Q Fever infection. The vaccine is highly recommended for people who work or intend to work in high-risk occupations.

Vaccination is also recommended for everyone aged 15 years and over who has the potential to be exposed to this virus during activities outside of work, or in the environments in which they live or visit.

Keep your family and staff safe from Q Fever
About Q Fever

About Q Fever

Q Fever is an infection caused by a type of bacterium called Coxiella Burnetii which can be carried by both feral and domestic animals and their ticks.

How Does Q Fever Spread?

The bacterium is transmitted to humans by direct and indirect contact with infected animals, animal products or contaminated material. It is mainly spread from animals to humans via inhalation of infected particles in the air such as contaminated dust or contact with contaminated milk, meat, wool and particularly birthing products. The bacterium is extremely virulent and sustainable and a single organism can cause an infection.

The bacterium can infect wild and domestic animals, and their ticks. Ticks can transfer the pathogenic agent to other animals.

Cattle, sheep and goats are the main sources of human infection, but certain wildlife (e.g. kangaroos), feral and domestic animals (e.g. camels, cats and dogs) can also be infected.

Why should you be screened and vaccinated by Q Fever Australia?

The risk factors explained

Q Fever causes flu-like symptoms which can include abrupt onset of fever, malaise, profuse perspiration, severe headache, myalgia (muscle pain), joint pain, loss of appetite, upper respiratory problems, dry cough, pleuritic pain, chills, confusion and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The disease can progress to an atypical pneumonia, which can result in a life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Less often, Q Fever causes (granulomatous) hepatitis, which may be asymptomatic or becomes symptomatic with malaise, fever, liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) and pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen.

The chronic form of Q Fever is virtually identical to inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis), which can occur months or decades following the infection. It is usually fatal if untreated.

Post Q Fever Fatigue Syndrome – About 10% of patients who are sick with acute Q Fever go on to suffer from a chronic-fatigue-like illness involving extreme ongoing tiredness and other symptoms which can be very debilitating. Post Q Fever fatigue can last for years after the initial virus was contacted.

Who is at risk of contracting Q Fever?

Any individual who is ever exposed to cattle, camels, sheep, goats and kangaroos or their products especially:

  • Abattoir workers and contract workers in cattle, sheep dairy and goat abattoirs
  • Tanning and hide workers
  • Shearers and wool sorters
  • Stockyard workers
  • Livestock transporters
  • Commercial dairies
  • Agricultural college staff and students
  • Wildlife and zoo workers exposed to high risk animals
  • Veterinarians, veterinary nurses and students
  • Professional dog and cat breeders
  • Laboratory personnel handling veterinary products or working with the organism
  • People whose work involves regular mowing in areas frequented by livestock or wild animals (e.g. council employees, golf course workers or staff of mowing businesses in regional and rural areas).

You can contract Q Fever by:

  • Breathing in the bacteria that is in the air or dust:
    1. – While birthing, slaughtering or butchering infected animals (especially cattle, sheep or goats). These activities carry a very high risk of infection.
    2. – When handling infected animals, infected animal tissues, fluids or excretions or animal products or materials that have been infected including wool, hides, straw, manure fertiliser and clothes (e.g. washing clothes worn when birthing, butchering or slaughtering animals)
    3. – While herding, shearing or transporting animals
    4. – While mowing grass contaminated by infected animal excretions
    5. – When visiting, living or working in/near a high-risk industry
  • Direct contact with infected animal tissue or fluids on broken skin (e.g. cuts or needlestick injuries when working with infected animals)
  • Drinking unpasteurised milk from infected cows, sheep and goats

Contact Q Fever today to find out more about vaccinations

Prevention through Q Fever vaccination

Fortunately, Australia has a vaccine to protect you from contracting Q Fever.

Q Fever Australia uses the safe and effective (Q-VAX®) vaccine to prevent Q Fever infection in individuals. The vaccination is highly recommended for people who work or intend to work in high-risk occupations. vaccination is also recommended for everyone aged 15 years and over who has the potential to be exposed to Q Fever during activities outside of work, or in the environments in which they live or visit.

Prior to immunisation, Q Fever Australia will undertake both a blood and skin test (Q-VAX® Skin Test) to ascertain if the individual has previously been exposed to Q Fever – either naturally or by previous vaccination.

The skin test will be interpreted by a Q Fever Australia Doctor seven days after the test is administered. Combined with the blood test results, the Doctor will determine if you are susceptible to the Bacteria and if you need a Q Fever vaccination. 

Note the Q Fever vaccination can only be given to individuals 15 years of age and over.

Who is at risk of contracting Q Fever?

Get in touch today

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Q Fever Australia

Q Fever Australia is owned by Medical Services Unit Pty Ltd - leading occupational and community healthcare provider.

Contact Us

Call Us Now

0412 597 001

Head Office & Clinic Rooms

49 Gregory Terrace,
Spring Hill, Brisbane 4000