Q fever is a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, an obligate gram-negative intracellular bacterium. Cattle, sheep, and goats are the primary reservoirs which were infected. Transmission to humans occurs primarily through inhalation of aerosols from contaminated soil or animal waste. Other modes of transmission include tick bites, ingestion of unpasteurized milk or dairy products, and human-to-human transmission etc.
Consultation with an infectious diseases specialist is necessary, particularly in cases of suspected chronic Q fever. In addition, consult an internist for admission and management of patients who are immunocompromised, elderly and In pregnant women, an obstetric consultation should also be considered.
The number of Q fever cases reported to CDC increased since the disease became reportable, from 17 cases with onset in 2000, to 167 cases with onset in 2007. The incidence of Q fever increased similarly, from less than 0.1 case per million persons in 2000 to 0.6 cases per million persons in 2007. During 2008 –2010, the number of reported cases decreased slightly, relative to 2007.