Could it be Q fever?

Heather F Gidding and Stephen R Graves
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11461
Published online: 21 January 2013

Seven lessons for Australia from the recent Dutch epidemic

Q fever (Coxiella burnetii infection) is a common zoonosis in Australia, especially in rural Queensland and New South Wales.1 However, the largest outbreak of Q fever ever identified was in the Netherlands in 2007–2010, with about 4000 people affected.2 While further research is needed on best practice to control transmission, detect and treat infection, and monitor acute cases for the early detection of chronic Q fever, lessons have already emerged for Australian medical and public health practitioners.

  • Heather F Gidding1
  • Stephen R Graves2,3

  • 1 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Hunter Area Pathology Service, Newcastle, NSW.
  • 3 Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory Foundation, Geelong, VIC.



Heather Gidding is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council postdoctoral research scholarship.

Competing interests:

Stephen Graves is the Founder and Director of the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory (ARRL). This is a not-for-profit diagnostic and research laboratory that receives money from the federal government (through “bulk-billing”) for diagnostic testing for Q fever. Any “profits” go into the ARRL research program. Stephen Graves does not receive any income from the ARRL.


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