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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2013 Feb;13(2):128-30. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2012.1007. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

Clinician assessment for Coxiella burnetii infection in hospitalized patients with potentially compatible illnesses during Q fever outbreaks and following a health alert, Montana, 2011.

Author information

1
Career Epidemiology Field Officer Program, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA. ggE5@cdc.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Coxiella burnetii is an endemic bacterial pathogen in the United States and the causative agent of Q fever. Two outbreaks of Q fever occurred in Montana during 2011, which led to the issuance of a health alert urging clinicians to test patients with Q fever-compatible illnesses for C. burnetii infection.

METHODS:

We retrospectively evaluated the medical records of patients hospitalized for fever, pneumonia, chest pain, and viral infection of unknown etiologies during the two Q fever outbreaks and following the health alert.

RESULTS:

A total of 103 patients were included in the analysis. Clinicians assessed<1% of patients suffering illnesses compatible with Q fever for known risk factors or C. burnetii infection. Only 1 patient had Q fever excluded as a diagnosis.

CONCLUSION:

Clinicians should assess for Q fever risk factors and consider the diagnosis in patients hospitalized with Q fever-compatible illnesses when the etiology of illness is unknown. Work is warranted to evaluate the effectiveness of current healthcare alert practices for zoonotic diseases.

PMID:
23289392
DOI:
10.1089/vbz.2012.1007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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