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Trends and risk factors for human Q fever in Australia, 1991-2014




Sloan-Gardner, Timothy
Massey, Peter
Hutchinson, Penny
Knope, Katrina
Fearnley, Emily

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Cambridge University Press


Australian abattoir workers, farmers, veterinarians and people handling animal birthing products or slaughtering animals continue to be at high risk of Q fever despite an effective vaccine being available. National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System data were analysed for the period 1991–2014, along with enhanced risk factor data from notified cases in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, to examine changes in the epidemiology of Q fever in Australia. The national Q fever notification rate reduced by 20% [incident rate ratio (IRR) 0·82] following the end of the National Q fever Management Program in 2006, and has increased since 2009 (IRR 1·01–1·34). Highest rates were in males aged 40–59 years (5·9/100 000) and 87% of Q fever cases occurred in New South Wales and Queensland. The age of Q fever cases and proportion of females increased over the study period. Based on the enhanced risk factor data, the most frequently listed occupation for Q fever cases involved contact with livestock, followed by ‘no known risk’ occupations. More complete and comparable enhanced risk factor data, at the State/Territory and national levels, would aid in further understanding of the epidemiology of Q fever.



Australia, public health surveillance, Q fever, risk factors, vaccination




Epidemiology and Infection


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Open Access

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Creative Commons License (Attribution 4.0 International)



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