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Chile Q fever update: 32 confirmed cases

In a follow-up to the Q fever outbreak in Osorno Province, Los Lagos Region in southern Chile, officials now put the confirmed cases at 32–29 in Osorno and 3 in Llanquihue, according to a BioBio Chile report (computer translated).

Image/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIH

According to the latest epidemiological report, there are 167 cases classified as “suspicious and compatible with Q fever”.

The disease emerged last year in Osorno among dairy workers at the Manuka company of Puerto Octay.

According to the Seremi de Salud Subrogante in Los Lagos, Teresita Cancino, environmental monitoring actions were also carried out with 33 inspections in agricultural lands, to which 14 educational and training talks were added.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Q fever is a disease caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii which is found worldwide. The bacteria naturally infects some animals, such as goats, sheep and cattle. C. burnetii bacteria are found in the birth products (i.e. placenta, amniotic fluid), urine, feces, and milk of infected animals. People can get infected by breathing in dust that has been contaminated by infected animal feces, urine, milk, and birth products. Some people never get sick; however those that do usually develop flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain.

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