- Q Fever is highly infectious by the aerosol route
- Q Fever is rarely transmitted from person to person
- Incubation period is 10-40 days
- Acute infection may be asymptomatic or a self-limited febrile illness
- Symptoms acute illness is not clinically distinct, illness resembles viral respiratory infections or atypical pneumonias
- Chest x-ray evidence of pneumonia is present in up to 50% of cases
- Mortality rate is less than 2%
- Durations of illness is 2 days to 2 weeks
- Diagnosis requires serologic confirmation (IFA or ELISA)
- Isolation of the organism is not recommended due to significant hazards from handling bacterial cultures in the laboratory
- Use universal precautions with patients. Patients do not require isolation rooms
- Illness usually resolves without treatment
- Tetracyclines are the antibiotics of choice for more severe illness
- Tetracycline antibiotics are very effective if administered 8 to 12 days AFTER exposure
- Starting prophylaxis immediately after exposure can delay symptom onset but does not prevent illness
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Physicians who need to report a suspected public health emergency should contact the Public Health division immediately at 925-313-6740; or after hours, call the sheriff's dispatch at 925-646-2441 and ask for the Health Officer On Call.
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