Epidemiological Factsheet of Acute Q Fever in Taiwan

Shih-Chun Huang, Chu-Tzu Chen, Jer-Jea Yen

2014 Vol.30 NO.8

Correspondence Author: Shih-Chun Huang

  • Division of Acute Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


       Q fever is one of the zoonoses distributed worldwide which can cause acute or chronic illness in humans. It is caused by infection with Coxiella burnetii which has been described as a potential biological warfare agent due to its highly contagious property. Data including reported and confirmed cases of Q fever infection during 2004 to 2012 were analyzed to describe the epidemiological status of Q fever in Taiwan. Although the results showed that Q fever infection occurred in Taiwan throughout the year, most of the cases developed illnesses during spring and early summer, from March to June. Around 90% of the cases were male living in Kaohsiung city, Pingtung county, Tainan city and Changhua county. Occupational categories of the confirmed cases were mostly classified as others (30.8%), agriculture/forestry/fishery/animal husbandry (14.0%) and unemployed (13.8%). However, 30.6% of the female confirmed cases were housewives. Most of cases had fever (84.3%) and headache (34.4%), but a few developed symptoms including chill, fatigue, body aches and skin rash. We remind people if Q fever suspected symptoms develop, please seek immediate medical attention. Moreover, please inform the physician of the recent travel history or history of exposure to animal husbandry farms which will help the physician make appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords:Q fever, Coxiella burnetii, animal husbandry farm, zoonoses