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DOH says it is working with DA to address first case of ‘Q Fever’

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The Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday it is coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA), which confirmed the first case of ‘Q fever’—a zoonotic disease traced from imported goats—in the Philippines.

The DOH advised the public to avoid contact with animals suspected of carrying the bacteria. It also assured that thorough assessment of its risks to human health is underway.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ‘Q fever’ or ‘Query’ fever is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. These bacteria naturally infect some animals, such as goats, sheep, and cows.

It is usually a mild disease found in animals that can be transmitted to humans, especially among farmers and animal handlers, who are in frequent contact with infected animals. Human-to-human transmission, however, is very rare.

Symptoms in humans develop within two to three weeks after exposure. They are commonly mild and non-specific.

“They include fever, fatigue, headache, cough, nausea, and vomiting. Q Fever can be cured by antibiotics that are widely available in the Philippines,” according to DOH.

In a press statement on Friday, the DA through its Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said it has already purged dozens of goats imported from the US after Q fever was detected at a government breeding station in Marinduque.


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