Erasmus MC study: Many patients with Q fever still have problems

Erasmus MC study: Many patients with Q fever still have problems

Fifteen years after the outbreak of the Q fever epidemic, many patients still had complaints, according to research by Erasmus MC.

Q fever is an infectious disease transmitted by goats (dairies) and sheep (dairies). In 2007 an epidemic broke out in the Netherlands. Until 2010, the disease spread through infected goat and sheep farms, mainly in North Brabant. According to RIVM, more than 4,300 reports of infections have been received since the outbreak. 95 patients died definitely or possibly of Q fever, nearly all of them as a result of chronic Q fever.

The study, commissioned by Q-support, was conducted on nearly 450 patients with Q fever fatigue syndrome (QVS). Just like a lung virus, this condition occurs after infection with an animal bacteria or virus (zoonotic disease). By the way, not everyone who has had Q fever has a chronic illness.

Fatigue and concentration problems

Various complaints appeared in the investigation. Of the twelve physical complaints, fatigue, concentration problems, and physical exhaustion are the most important. As a result of the complaints, 46 percent of patients had to stop working and 33 percent started working less. They also have a little energy for family, friends and hobbies.

Patients have little understanding in society of their condition. 44 percent dare to ask for help, and 53 percent find it unclear who they can turn to for help. They rated their quality of life at 5.0, while the average Dutch person would rate their life at 8.2. Only a small percentage of QVS patients (17 percent) expect that complaints will decrease.

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QVS patients visit an average of seven health care providers; Especially General Practitioner, Physiotherapist and Company Doctor. A third is not satisfied with the care provided and 75 percent believe that caregivers do not adequately coordinate their treatments while experiencing a range of complaints. They are more satisfied with the care provided by their physical therapist and occupational therapist.

The survey is repeated every four years. Four years ago, the long-term consequences of Q fever I searched for the first time† It turns out that patients’ complaints do not go away with treatment. The Q-support Foundation wants to engage in discussions with patients and caregivers to improve and simplify the approach.

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