Photo by Jason G Harris
Ken Loveland, owner of the private Sanctuary, runs an AirBnB facility at the Sanctuary, where visitors can still interact with the wildlife in their wild environment.
However, as volunteers are not now required, persons wishing to spend additional time at the Sanctuary helping out with mundane duties such as “kangaroo poo patrol”, will be required to be vaccinated for Q Fever, a Zoonotic Disease. This will involve a blood test to ascertain whether you have been exposed to Q-Fever in the past, prior to a vaccination.
Q Fever refers to an infection caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii, a virus usually found in cattle, goats, and sheep all over the world.
Humans can develop Q fever if they inhale dust contaminated by infected animals. The “birth products” of infected animals (e.g. amniotic fluid and placenta) contain the highest amounts of bacteria.
Q fever is linked to mild flu-like symptoms. However, many patients with the infection don’t experience any symptoms.
Rare cases of Q fever may develop into a more serious form if the infection is chronic. Chronic Q fever persists for six months or longer. A more serious form of Q fever may also develop if the infection is recurrent. Individuals with heart valve problems or weak immune systems are at the highest risk of developing these types of Q fever. Chronic Q fever is severe, and it may damage a person’s vital organs, such as the brain, heart, liver and lungs.
Q fever is also called Query Fever.
People at risk of developing Q fever may include:
Those who live close to farms
Those who work around sheep
Those who work in the dairy industry
Those who work in meat processing facilities
Those who work in research laboratories with C. burnetii
Those who work in research laboratories with livestock
Body Systems harmed by Q fever
Complications linked to Q fever may include:
.Encephalitis – brain infection
.Endocarditis – the inflammation of the inner membrane of the heart. Endocarditis can severely affect the heart valves
.Fatigue syndrome- extreme fatigue is linked to prolonged disability
.Infection of the retina
.Liver damage – may progress to hepatitis
.Meningitis – inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord
.Myocarditis – inflammation of the covering of the heart
.Osteomyelitis – bone infection
.Pneumonia – the lungs may be affected because of a lack of oxygen. This can cause respiratory problems
.Pregnancy-related health conditions – a pregnant woman with Q fever is at risk of the following – low birth weight, miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth.
Q fever with severe complications can end up in DEATH.
For more information, contact your GP.