The CDC has released a health advisory to be alert for Qfever in travelers returning from Iraq (as well as an ongoing outbreak in the Netherlands). Qfever is caused by Coxiella burnetii, which can be inhaled near contaminated animals (usually cattle, sheep, goats). It presents within 2-3 of exposure with fever +/- pneumonia/hepatitis. Serum testing for acute and convalescent antibody titers can confirm the diagnosis, and doxycycline is the treatment of choice. Qfever is a nationally notifiable disease, and more information is available on the CDC website (CDC)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.