C burnetii infection in livestock often goes unnoticed. In humans, acute C burnetii infection is often asymptomatic or mistaken for an influenza like illness or a typical pneumonia . In rare cases, C burnetii infection becomes chronic, with devastating results, especially in patients with pre excisting valvular heart disease.
Isolation and decontamination with standard precautions are recommended for healthcare workers because person-to-person transmission is rare. Decontamination is accomplished with soap and water or after a 30-minute contact time with 5% quaternary ammonium compound , 5% hydrogen peroxide, or 70% ethyl alcohol. Treatment with tetracycline during the incubation period may delay but not prevent the onset of symptoms.
Q fever serologic analysis was conducted by using an in-house ELISA for serum samples from 69 workers obtained annually during 2007–2009. Results of samples from the third year were confirmed in parallel by using an immune fluorescent assay (IFA) in the reference laboratory in Belgium and with follow-up samples in cases of non interpretable or suspected serologic profiles.