Veterinary labs call for Q fever vigilance
A disease that has stayed under the radar for decades has raised its head again, resulting in a series of abortion 'storms' in herds around the country.
The Department's vet labs have found evidence of Q Fever in the aborted foetuses from herds involved.
The diagnosis was initially made on placentas and confirmed following blood tests.
Q Fever is a zoonotic disease transmittable to humans, where it causes prolonged flu-like symptoms.
The Department is preparing information on how to minimise the spread of the disease, but it is advising farmers experiencing abortions in their herds to wear gloves and a mask when calving cows.
Lab staff also emphasised the importance of farmers bringing fresh afterbirth along with the aborted calf to the regional labs for analysis.
A veterinary lab official said that while the disease was not generally serious, it could cause problems in a sustained outbreak.