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Q Fever in Chile (Osorno Province)

05 Feb 2018

Public health authorities  report an outbreak of Q fever in Osorno Province that began in July 2017 is continuing, with 181 cases reported up to 24 January 2018. Most cases are reported to work with farm animals. This is the first outbreak of Q fever reported in Chile since 1998.

Advice for Travellers

Q fever is rarely diagnosed in travellers but is a potential risk regardless of destination.   

Travellers at most risk include:

  • Those living or working closely with animals (i.e. veterinarians, abattoir workers, farmers).
  • Those staying for prolonged periods in rural areas, especially in the summer months, where the risk of dust inhalation is increased (includes military personnel).

Travellers should be advised to:

  • Avoid contact with animal body fluids. If this is unavoidable (e.g. for those at occupational risk), protective clothing should be worn.
  • Be aware of the risks in very dusty environments.
  • Avoid tick bites.
  • Avoid unpasteurised dairy products.


No licensed vaccine is available in the UK.

Vaccines are available in Australia, the US and some European countries. Vaccination is reserved for those at occupational risk (abattoir workers, laboratory staff).