News from August December 2, 2019
Q fever outbreak in La Rioja, a Northern province of Spain – Hospitalization of 6 patients
A total of 9 people have been treated in Health Centers of La Rioja for an outbreak of Q fever, and 3 of them were admitted, according to various local media. In addition, 3 citizens of the Basque Country, specifically from
Biscay, were also admitted with Q fever, and a 4th person was waiting for bacteriological results at the time the news was compiled. The patients would have acquired the disease after a visit to La Rioja, where they would have been infected by having contact with infected animals. They spent a weekend in La Rioja, and all of them, during a rural stay, maintained direct contact
with newborn goats.
Recently, the Valencian Ministry of Health reported the existence of another outbreak of Q fever in Villajoyosa (Alicante), with 6 cases declared, all of them now in good health. (Shortened and adapted from: ProMED Digest, Vol 90, Issue 6)
News from June 03 and 06, 2019
Source: www.fm1today.ch; www.srf.ch
Several cases of pneumonia have occurred the last few weeks in the Maggia Valley, Switzerland. The people who became ill turned out to be infected by Coxiella burnetti, Q fever pathogen. Q fever is a notifiable disease in Switzerland. “About 50 cases of Q fever have been reported since the beginning of the year and 20 cases were reported from Tessin“, Daniel Koch from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health disclosed upon request. A herd of goats is supposed to be the reason for the illnesses.
In order to reduce the risk of infection for humans, vaccination of the animals was ordered by the Tessin health authority. The federal government had to issue a special permit first, as there hasn’t been any permit for using this vaccine so far. Therefore this vaccine can now be imported and applied. In addition the transport of animals from one farm to another was prohibited. The measures taken by the canton of Tessin are meant to put a speedy end to the risk of infection. The most probable reason for the high rate of infection is considered to be the birth of the first kids a few months ago. Besides this the dryness and the wind of the last months may have contributed to the fact that Q fever was able to spread.
(Sources: ProMED-mail, 04.06.2019, archive number: 20190604.6502499, www.fm1today.ch; www.srf.ch )
News from February 14, 2019
Mortality from Q fever outbreak from 2007-2010 in the Netherlands adjusted upwards: 95 people died
During the Q fever outbreak from 2007-2010 in the Netherlands an unprecedented number of people became infected with the Q fever bacterium Coxiella burnetii.
(Remark: Besides the 4000 cases diagnosed a 10-fold number of unrecorded cases is assumed (see Kampschreur et
al. Epidemiol. Infect. 2013).
Some of them developed chronic Q fever, in which vessel walls and heart valves become infected. About half of
them developed complications, such as heart failure or a ruptured aorta. The prognosis is often unfavorable. Of all
patients who die of chronic Q fever, 55 percent died within one year of diagnosis.
The data from patients with chronic Q fever is collected in the National Chronic Q Fever Database, a collaboration
between University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, Radboudumc in Nijmegen and Jeroen Bosch Hospital in ‘s
Hertogenbosch. In 2016, this database contained data from 439 patients. In that year, it appeared that 65 patients
had died of the effects of chronic Q fever since the outbreak. With the 9 patients who had died due to acute Q fever,
the total number of patients who had died as a result of Q fever in 2016 was 74.
The database was updated again in 2018. Currently 519 chronic Q fever patients are registered. The increase is
almost entirely due to patients who have been diagnosed with chronic Q fever after 2016. In 2018, 86 patients were
registered who died from the consequences of chronic Q fever, 21 more than in 2016. The total number of patients
who died as a result of Q fever (acute and chronic) was therefore 95.
(Shortened version of the article)
At least 90 British military personnel have been diagnosed with confirmed cases of Q fever after serving in
Helmand, Afghanistan (2008 to 2014). According to a UK military news outlet, Forces Network, a consultant
in infectious diseases and tropical medicine told to the Central London Country Court on [Tue 22 Jan 2019] in
the context of legal proceedings an affected British soldier has initiated against UK’s Ministry of Defense that
90 confirmed cases of Q fever had been recorded among British soldiers who had served in Helmand.
(ProMED Digest, Vol 79, Issue 77 Q – AFG)