About Q Fever
Q fever is a disease caused by bacteria that is spread to humans from animals. It can cause flu-like symptoms that can be severe. Some people experience long-term health issues following infection.
Cattle, sheep and goats are the main sources of infection; however, a wide range of domestic and wild animals can spread the infection to humans. Infected animals usually do not appear to be sick.
Most infections occur from breathing in air or dust contaminated with Q fever bacteria from animal birth fluids, tissues or excretions. The bacteria survive well in air, soil and dust and can infect animal products and materials such as clothing and straw.
Who should receive the Q Fever vaccine?
- People ≥15 years of age who work in high-risk occupations (e.g. abattoir workers, veterinarians, dog and cat breeders, laboratory personnel, farm workers and others exposed to at risk animals [cattle, goats, sheep, bandicoots and kangaroos])
- People who live, work or visit regional or rural areas should consider vaccination as infection can occur by inhaling particles and dust in the environment
- Your GP will help you decide if vaccination is right for you
Who may not be able to not receive the Q Fever vaccine?
- People with a known allergy to egg proteins
- Children <15 years of age, pregnant women and people with a weakened immune system should obtain specialist advice before considering vaccination
- See your GP to discuss your options
Stages of Q Fever vaccination
Q Fever vaccination will generally require a minimum of 2 visits to the practice
1st Visit – Pre-vaccination screening
To avoid the risk of a severe reaction, the Q Fever vaccine should only be given to those who have not been in contact with the bacteria in the past. As a result, pre-vaccination screening is required and includes:
- A blood test to check for immunity
- Appointment with your doctor about Q Fever infection or past vaccination
- Skin test to check for immunity (if not contraindicated)
2nd Visit – Vaccination
- 7 days after your skin test, your doctor will examine the test site and determine if you can receive the Q Fever vaccine
- If indicated, you will receive the vaccine at this visit
Australian Q Fever Register
- Sinnamon Park Medical Centre is an approved organisation to access and use the Q Fever Register
- We can assist you with registration and sending results to the register
Important points to consider with Q Fever vaccination
- A minimum of 2 visits are required to complete the vaccination process
- It is important that your second visit occurs 7 days after your first (you may need to check that your timetable will allow for this)
- To reduce the number of visits required, it is important that you complete your blood test at least 3 working days before your first visit. To assist you with this process we can arrange for a blood test form to be sent to your nearest pathology centre
- There are costs involved for Q Fever vaccination and include:
- Blood test (check with your pathology provider)
- Doctor appointment costs (please enquire at reception)
- If required, purchase of the Q Fever skin test and vaccine (please enquire at reception)
- Costs are generally tax deductible for most at-risk occupations
- Please allocate 60-90 minutes for each visit, as you will be asked to remain at the practice for up to 30 minutes after receiving the Q Fever skin test and vaccine – consider bringing a good book!
- It takes approximately 2 weeks for the vaccine to become effective