Ku cod

Ku fever is a disease whose outbreaks are in nature, caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. It occurs with acute and chronic phases. Cattle, sheep and goats are the main reservoirs, although other species can also be infected.

Infectious organisms are excreted in the milk, urine and feces of infected animals. When the animals are born, large amounts of the bacteria are present in large quantities in the amniotic fluid and placenta.

The bacterium Coxiella burnetii is extremely resistant to heat, drying, as well as to many disinfectants, which allows the long survival of the bacteria in the environment.

Human infection usually occurs by inhalation of these infectious organisms from air that contains dust from dried material from the placenta, amniotic fluid, and excreta of diseased livestock.

Other ways of transmitting the bacteria to humans are rare, such as tick bites, ingestion of unpasteurized milk or milk products, and transmission from an infected person to a healthy person.

People are often very susceptible to the disease and a very small amount of the bacteria can cause an infection.

What are the symptoms?

Coxiella burnetii can cause acute or chronic illness in humans, who most often acquire the bacteria after contact with infected animals or exposure to contaminated environments .

Symptoms of acute infection usually develop 2-3 weeks after exposure to the infectious organisms, although about half of people have no clinical picture.

The most frequently observed symptoms are:

• Very high temperature 40-41 degrees Celsius.
• Severe headache;
• General malaise;
• Myalgia;
• Chills or sweating;
• Cough that does not produce sputum;
• Nausea and vomiting;
• Diarrhea;
• Abdominal pain;
• Chest pain;

Although most people with the acute form of the disease recover, it is possible for some of them to develop complications, most often pneumonia, granulomatous hepatitis, myocarditis and central nervous system complications.< /p>

Infected pregnant women are at risk of premature birth and miscarriage. The mortality rate among those infected is low and is less than 2% of those hospitalized.

The chronic form of the disease is very severe and affects less than 5% of those who have passed the acute form.

It may develop about 6 weeks after the acute infection or it may appear years later. The three groups of people with the highest risk of developing chronic fever are pregnant women, people with suppressed immune systems, and those with existing heart valve deformities.

60-70% of reported cases of chronic infection develop endocarditis. But if left untreated, 25-60% are fatal. In such cases, early diagnosis and initiation of long-term antibiotic treatment – at least 18 months are necessary. Other forms of chronic Qu fever manifest as aortic aneurysms, infections of the bones, liver, or reproductive organs.

Treatment of Q fever

Doxycycline antibiotic therapy is used in all adults and in children with other severe illnesses. Treatment should be started immediately when Coxiella burnetii infection is suspected.

Use of antibiotics other than doxycycline or tetracyclines is associated with an increased risk of severe disease. Doxycycline is most effective in preventing severe complications that may develop during the course of infection. Therefore, treatment should be initiated when infection is clinically suspected and should always be started before laboratory results are available.

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