Q fever outbreak in industrial setting

Hugo C. Van Woerden*, Brendan W. Mason, Lika K. Nehaul, Robert Smith, Roland L. Salmon, Brendan Healy, Manoj Valappil, Diana Westmoreland, Sarah De Martin, Meirion R. Evans, Graham Lloyd, Marysia Hamilton-Kirkwood, Nina S. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    An outbreak of Q fever occurred in South Wales, United Kingdom, from July 15 through September 30, 2002. To investigate the outbreak a cohort and nested case-control study of persons who had worked at a cardboard manufacturing plant was conducted. The cohort included 282 employees and subcontractors, of whom 253 (90%) provided blood samples and 214 (76%) completed questionnaires. Ninety-five cases of acute Q fever were identified. The epidemic curve and other data suggested an outbreak source likely occurred August 5-9, 2002. Employees in the factory's offices were at greatest risk for infection (odds ratio 3.46; 95% confidence interval 1.38-9.06). The offices were undergoing renovation work around the time of likely exposure and contained straw board that had repeatedly been drilled. The outbreak may have been caused by aerosolization of Coxiella burnetii spore-like forms during drilling into contaminated straw board.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1282-1289
    Number of pages8
    JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


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