Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 February 2018

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.


Also Read

The resurgence of Q Fever came to light when 10 cows from an intensive dairy herd aborted due to the disease.

Cases of the disease was first recorded in Ireland in the 1960s. Recent research carried out in the northern half of the country found evidence of Q Fever in 38pc of herds but just 2pc of stock in these herds were positive for the disease.

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