Q FEVER sufferers are being encouraged to participate in a nationwide survey to aid research into developing an emergency response plan for the disease.
A Charles Sturt University researcher wants to hear from people who’ve had Q Fever, to learn more about the impacts of the illness and patient experience in achieving a diagnosis.
Q Fever is an infectious disease that transmits from animals to humans and is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. Many people do not become sick or experience only a mild illness if infected, but for others it can result in a prolonged and debilitating illness.
“We want to include as wide a range of experiences as possible including people who have been infected without symptoms, those who have had severe illness and parents or guardians who have cared for a child with Q Fever,” Dr Tan said.
“It doesn’t matter how long ago you experienced Q Fever, if you were in Australia, we are keen to hear from you.
“The aim of this questionnaire is to investigate the impacts that Q Fever has on patients and families in Australia and their experiences in achieving a diagnosis for their illness,” she said.
Dr Tan said these patient perspectives on the medical investigation will help explore the likelihood of timely disease detection.
“Information from the survey will inform our research to develop an emergency response plan to be used if a large Q Fever outbreak in humans was identified.”
Dr Tan’s research is part of a wider, multidisciplinary project ‘Taking the “Query” out of Q Fever’ that aims to improve understanding of Q Fever to develop policies that will limit the likelihood of a large and prolonged outbreak in Australia.
The three-year project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program and university and industry partners.
Project funding is administered by AgriFutures Australia and the national project team includes animal health and infectious disease experts from the University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide, the University of Queensland, the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, Goat Vet Oz and Meredith Dairy.