What we know about Q fever as Philippines logs 1st case

June 21, 2024 - 9:08 PM
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Photo showing Q fever and a man holding a goat. (CDC via Unsplash; Department of Agriculture/Released)

The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry (DA – BAI) on Friday confirmed the country’s first case of Q fever, found in a government-owned farm in Marinduque.

This news alarmed Filipinos who expressed concerns over the possibility of Q fever spread.

Q fever, also known as Coxiella burnetii, is an infectious disease that typically affects animals like goats, sheep, and cows, according to the DA.

The United States (U.S.) Center for Disease Control noted that while this is common in animals, this can be contagious to humans as well.

Concerns raised over the arrival of Q fever

After the DA-BAI’s announcement, many online users from the Philippines expressed alarmed over the possibility of undergoing another nationwide quarantine similar to the spread of COVID-19.

READ: Explainer: What we know about the origins of COVID-19 | COVID-19 probably passed from bats, further studies required – WHO report

Some Pinoys took to social media to share their thoughts and worries over the first positive case of the Q fever.

One Facebook user commented, “Lockdown is waving.”

“Another lockdown in the making. Just kidding,” another online user remarked.

“The source of my goats’ supplier is from Masbate. Because of this imaginary disease, the price of goat meat will jump to P1,000 per kilo from 500 per kilo. Papaitan and kalderata will become so expensive,” an online user distressed.

Amid the public’s fears, one Facebook user reminded fellow online users to hold their reactions.

“Magbasa muna bago kasi mag-react hahaha,” the online user said.

How Q fever is transmitted, treated

Christian Daquigan, BAI-National Veterinary Quarantine Services division chief, explained that humans who have contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids can catch the fever.

The DA also said that humans who start to display symptoms would require treatment like doxycycline. However, most people can recover without taking antibiotics.

Gov’t actions

Daquigan allayed the public’s fear, saying that the bureau is mitigating the spread of the Q fever.

“Our top priority is the safety of animals and humans. We are taking the necessary actions to control the cases,” he said.

The DA-BAI  said that the bureau has conducted initial proactive measures such as depopulating five dozen goats that were imported from the U.S.

Moreover, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. has ordered a temporary import ban on goats coming from the States.

Daquigan also assured the public that the BAI is collaborating with Marinduqe’s local government to prevent Q fever’s spread.