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Q fever - a bacterial disease caused by Coxiella burnetii primarily affecting sheep, goats, cattle and occasionally other animals such as cats. Q fever is a zoonotic disease that can affect humans who come in contact with infected animals or their surroundings.

Q Fever is a disease that must be reported to public health authorities


birthing stall
Birthing sheep
How is it transmitted?  Usually by inhalation of contaminated barnyard dust, or from contact with infected uterine fluids, aborted fetuses and placentas.
Un-pasteurized (raw) milk and cheeses are  another source of infection for humans.
Aborted fetus

What are the signs in animals? Abortions in goats and sheep are typical of Q fever. Non pregnant animals may show no signs.

What are the symptoms in humans?  Symptoms appear 2-3 weeks after inhalation or eating contaminated food or water and include fever lasting 1-2 weeks, headache, chest or stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. More serious cases of Q fever cause lung and liver infections and inflammation of the heart (endocarditis).

More information at Merck Vet Manual: