Have You Caught Q Fever Working with Animals?

Word Q fever. Medical concept

Q fever is an infectious disease that can often be caught when working around animals. It’s spread from animals to humans most commonly by farm animals like cattle, goat and sheep. However, dogs, cats, kangaroos, camels and other animals can also cause the infection.

You can become infected with Q fever by inhaling contaminated dust and aerosols from animals, animal products and waste including milk, hides, wool, fur, urine, faeces and more. It can also be transmitted through soil, bedding, straw, grass, machinery and clothing that infected animals have been around.

Health Effects

People who are infected with Q fever can do so without becoming sick, or they only show symptoms of mild illness, occasionally similar to a cold or flu. The disease can lead to a number of complications including:

  • Hepatitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Inflammation of the heart
  • Miscarriage and premature birth in pregnant women

A small minority of people who get infected develop chronic Q fever, which is caused by persistent infection. This can lead to more serious health issues such as endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) and lesions in internal organs, tissues and bone.

Who is at Risk?

People who work with animals and animal products and waste are at risk of being infected with Q fever, especially visitors and new workers to animal-related industries. This includes farmers, abattoir workers, kangaroo shooters, tanner workers, pet food manufacturing workers, zoo workers, professional breeders and more.

Q fever is very infectious, only requiring a few bacteria to infect someone. If you work with animals, animal products or waste and develop cold or flu like symptoms, you should see a doctor and get tested for Q fever.

Compensation for Q Fever

Certain precautions should be taken in workplaces to reduce the chance of becoming infected with Q fever. This includes proper protective clothing and ensuring workers are vaccinated. If your workplace has a high risk for Q fever exposure and you haven’t been provided with a vaccination, your employer may be considered negligent.

If you develop Q fever due to exposure in the workplace, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Workers can access compensation to help them access the medical support and recoup loss of income due to illness.

Need Advice for a Worker’s Compensation in Queensland?

If you’ve been infected with Q fever in the workplace, you should contact an experienced compensation lawyer to evaluate your case and determine whether you are eligible for compensation. The process of making a claim is complex and subject to time limits, so it’s important to act quickly.

If you need a qualified lawyer in Brisbane or the Gold Coast, get in touch with the team at Dwyer Law Group. We have more than 30 years of experience dealing with a variety of claims for compensation. Contact us online or call us on 07 5610 5277 and ask about our ‘No Win, No Fee’ policy.

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