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UMC: People are still dying from chronic Q fever

UMC: People are still dying from chronic Q fever

Outbreaks of Q fever in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2011 still result in deaths. This is evidenced by the recent update of the National Chronic Fever Database. A total of 116 deaths have been reported in it. In 2018 there were 95 reports on UMC Utrecht.

Years ago, many people were infected with the Q Coxiella burnetii bacteria. These bacteria, which are transmitted from animal to human, cause Q fever. The bacteria disappear from the body in most people, but not in everyone. In this case, there is a chronic fever Q

As this is known, data from patients with chronic Q fever are collected in the National Chronic Q fever database. This is a collaboration between UMC Utrecht, Radboudumc and Jeroen Bosch Hospital.

585 patients with chronic Q fever

Data for almost all hospitals in the Netherlands have been completed again. The Chronic Q fever database now includes 585 chronic Q fever patients. Of these, 350 had a proven chronic infection with Q fever and 97 with a probable chronic infection with Q fever. 138 patients with chronic Q fever infection.

Those 585 patients are 66 more than was recorded in 2018. Remarkably, according to the researchers, even ten years after this major outbreak ended, new cases of chronic Q fever are still diagnosed in patients who have been infected for years.

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In the cohort of 350 patients who tested positive for chronic Q fever infection, approximately 30 percent died from the disease. Because the diagnosis is often missed due to unfamiliarity with chronic Q fever, the actual number of deaths from Q fever would be higher, the researchers say. They say this data shows that outbreaks can cause new victims long afterward.

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Since 2010, data on all chronic Q fever patients from 45 hospitals have been collected in the National Chronic Q fever database. Chronic Q fever is a rare condition and research in this group is complicated by the limited number of patients.