Co-infections: Q Fever

Cause: Coxiella burnetii bacteria

Contracted on farms and ranches that have infected cattle, sheep, or goats

Usually contracted from contact with placenta or birth fluids while assisting in the birth of the young from infected animals

Also contracted by:

  • Inhaling dust contaminated with feces, the placenta, or amniotic fluid of infected animals
  • Drinking unpasturized milk from infected animals
  • Contact with urine of infected animals
  • A bite from an infected tick
Most infected animals show no symptoms
The disease may be discovered by an outbreak of animal stillbirths on the ranch or farm

Symptoms of Q Fever in humans:

  • High fever,
  • 104 or 105 degrees
  • Severe headache
  • Malaise
  • Myalgia
  • Chills, sweats
  • Dry cough
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain

Q Fever Can Cause

  • Pneumonia                            •   Meningitis
  • Encephalitis                          •   Endocarditis
  • Myocarditis                           •   Pericarditis
  • Aortic aneuryism                •   Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis

Q Fever Treatment


Most successful if begun promptly. Don’t wait for test results, which are usually negative early in the illness.

Acute Stage:  Treat 2 to 3 weeks with Doxycycline

Chronic Illness: Treat 18 months with Doxycycline, 100 mg. 2 times a day plus Hydroxychloroquine, 200 mg. 3 times a day

Children:  Doxycycline if severely ill
Co-trimoxazole for mild illness in children under age 8

Pregnancy: Treat for duration of pregnancy with Co-trimoxazole, 1 time per day

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