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J Infect Dis. 1991 Jul;164(1):202-4.

An outbreak of cat-associated Q fever in the United States.

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Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor 04401.


Q fever is usually acquired by contact with aerosols generated during parturition of domestic ungulates (e.g., sheep, cows, goats). In the maritime provinces of Canada, parturient cats have also been implicated in its transmission. A 66-year-old woman from eastern Maine developed high fever, rigors, headache, myalgias, pulmonary infiltrates, and elevated hepatocellular enzymes, and the diagnosis of acute Q fever was confirmed serologically. She and 14 other family members had attended a family reunion in Maine 2 weeks earlier, when they were exposed to a parturient cat. All 11 adults and older children attending the reunion developed symptoms consistent with acute Q fever. Serum samples were obtained from 10 who attended the reunion and 8 who did not attend. Titers greater than or equal to 1:64 to Coxiella burnetii were present in all who attended the reunion but in none of those who did not. Cat-associated Q fever should be considered when sporadic cases of the disease occur in the United States.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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