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Geiten in Vinkel (Foto: ANP).

Years after the outbreak, people are still dying from Q fever

People continue to die from the effects of chronic Q fever. This was reported by researchers from the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in Den Bosch and the Radboud Hospital in Nijmegen, among others. Since 2018, 21 patients have died.

This brings the total number of people who died from Q fever to 116. “These data show that outbreaks can cause new victims for a long time afterwards,” the researchers concluded.

The largest outbreak of Q fever in the world began in 2007 in the East Brabant village of Herpen. Between 50,000 and 100,000 people were infected with the Q fever bacteria, many of them from Brabant. It can be transmitted from sheep and goats to humans. In most people, the bacteria disappear from their bodies over time, but a few patients develop a chronic infection.

Chronic Q fever
In the National Chronic Q Fever Database, 585 patients diagnosed with or likely to have chronic Q fever were enrolled. Since 2018, 66 people have been added. The researchers say this is quite astonishing. It is unclear how many people from Brabant were involved.

Researchers believe that the true numbers of chronic infections and deaths are likely higher. Since chronic Q fever is a relatively unknown disease, a correct diagnosis is often missed, according to them. People with this chronic condition can develop cardiovascular complications.

Read also: 6 years and 3 years of Q fever: Emma in bed for half a day

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