The number of cases of Q fever reported among humans in the Netherlands has risen ‘explosively’ over the past few weeks, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.
The paper says over 200 cases have been reported in recent days, half of them in Noord-Brabant province.
Q fever was rarely known among humans until 2007, when 168 cases were reported. Last year there were more than 1,000 instances in the Netherlands.
Q fever is spread by livestock which shed the bacteria in urine, faeces, birth products and milk. The bacteria reach humans after faeces and dirty straw is used as fertiliser and blown about, the Volkskrant says.
The disease, which leads to spontaneous abortion in sheep and goats, causes flu-like symptoms in humans but can lead to lung infections.
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