A Charles Sturt University researcher wants to hear from people who have 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 cattle and sheep to humans and is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii.
While some infected people may experience only a mild illness, for others it can result in a prolonged and debilitating illness.
Charles Sturt PhD student Tabita Tan is carrying out an online survey as part of her research through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.
The aim of the 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.
“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.”
Dr Tan said these patient perspectives on the medical investigation would 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,” she said.
Dr Tan’s research is part of a wider, multi-disciplinary 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 Federal 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.
The survey, which will be open until at least the end of February, can be accessed here.