Certain factors can increase your risk of being infected with Q fever bacteria, including:

  • Occupation. Certain occupations place you at higher risk because you're exposed to animals and animal products as part of your job. At-risk occupations include veterinary medicine, meat processing, livestock farming and animal research.
  • Location. Simply being near a farm or farming facility may put you at higher risk of Q fever, because the bacteria can travel long distances, accompanying dust particles in the air.
  • Your sex. Men are more likely to develop symptomatic acute Q fever.
  • Time of year. Q fever can occur at any time of the year, but the number of infections usually peaks in April and May in the U.S.

Risks for chronic Q fever

The risk of eventually developing the more deadly form of Q fever is increased in people who have:

  • Heart valve disease
  • Blood vessel abnormalities
  • Weakened immune systems
  • A type of kidney disease known as chronic renal insufficiency
July 24, 2014