Combat Q-fever by slaughtering goats

8th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Experts recommend slaughtering all pregnant goats on Q-fever infected farms.

The Netherlands – A group of experts are calling for drastic measures to combat the spread of the animal-borne disease Q-fever among the Dutch population.

The experts are recommending for the slaughter of all pregnant goats on farms where the disease has been confirmed.

Dutch public TV programme Zembla who has a copy of the recommendations said Health Minister Ab Klink intends to act on them.

Q-fever is caused by bacteria (Coxiella burnetii) found in goats, sheep and cattle and released when pregnant animals have spontaneous abortions.

The symptoms of the disease, which is spread by contact with livestock, include flu-like symptoms such as severe headaches, shivers and perspiration, aching muscles, sickness and diarrhoea and a slow pulse rate. However, it can also cause life-threatening pneumonia, and in its chronic form an inflammation of the lining of the heart.

The short variant of the disease lasts for up to two weeks, but there is also a long variant which may last two years, with chronic fatigue as its main symptom.

The disease is prevalent in areas in the southern Netherlands with large-scale goat farms and a relatively dense population.

About 2,000 Dutch have been diagnosed with the disease, five of whom have died.

Publication of an official map detailing the affected areas was to be announced on Monday, but Minister Klink and his Agriculture colleague, Gerda Verburg, decided to postpone publication until a coherent set of new measures against Q-fever has been agreed on.

 Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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