Sunday, September 09, 2012

Q fever and its treatment

Q fever and its treatment

Q fever usually is a mild disease with flu-like symptoms. Many people have no symptoms at all. But in a small percentage of people, the infection can resurface years later. This more deadly form of Q fever can damage your heart, liver, brain and lungs.

Q fever is transmitted to humans by animals, most commonly sheep, goats and cattle. When you inhale barnyard dust particles contaminated by infected animals, you may become infected. High-risk occupations include farmers, veterinarians and people who work with sheep in research labs.

The mild form of Q fever typically clears up within a few weeks with no treatment. But if Q fever recurs, you may need to take a combination of antibiotics for at least 18 months.

reatment for Q fever depends on the severity of your symptoms. Mild or nonsymptomatic cases of acute Q fever often get better in about two weeks with no treatment.

If you have more severe symptoms, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. People who have chronic Q fever usually must take a combination of antibiotics for at least 18 months. Even after successful chronic Q fever treatment, you'll need to go back for follow-up tests for years in case the infection returns.

If you have Q fever endocarditis, you may need surgery to replace damaged heart valves

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