Q fever in Netherlands continues to rise

6th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Around 200 patients have been reported to be infected with Q fever virus.

THE NETHERLANDS – The number of cases of Q fever among humans in the Netherlands is rising drastically, according to figures from the Centre for Infectious Disease Control.

Since the beginning of the year, around 200 infected patients has been reported, among half of whom lives in North Brabant province where there is a high concentration of goat farms. Last year, over 1,000 people were infected with the disease.

Q fever is caused by a bacterial infection and produces flu-like symptoms and may lead to lung infections. It is treatable with antibiotics. Humans contract the disease from animals via contaminated manure or straw.

Until 2007, Q fever was rarely known among humans. Since then, a small-scale livestock vaccination programme was introduced and farm hygiene improvements made.

However, the measures appear not to have been sufficiently effective.

Consequently the Agriculture Ministry has announced that a further 130,000 goats in the south of the country are to be vaccinated.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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