Q-fever death toll reached at least 24
Wednesday 29 February 2012
The number of people killed by Q-fever, a flu-like illness which mainly infects sheep and goats, was at least 24, the head of the public health institute RIVM told television current affairs show Nieuwsuur on Tuesday.
The previous official death toll stood at 19.
The outbreak of Q-fever began in 2007 and led to the slaughter of some 40,000 goats in an effort to get the spread under control. Some 4,000 humans became ill with the disease but that total could be far higher, Roel Coutinho, head of the RIVM's infectious diseases unit, told the show.
On Tuesday it emerged dozens of people who still have health problems relating to Q-fever are planning to take legal action against the goat farms where they became infected.