From silent, to severe. Q Fever research focusses on patient experience


From silent, to severe. Q Fever research focusses on patient experience

Charles Sturt research to give insight into experience of people with Q Fever.

  • Charles Sturt University research aims to give insight into the experience of people with Q Fever
  • Q Fever is an infectious disease of people acquired from animals that can cause prolonged and debilitating illness.
  • Anyone who has experienced Q Fever in Australia is invited to take part in this online survey

A Charles Sturt University researcher wants to hear from people who’ve had Q Fever, to learn more about the impacts of the illness and patient experience in achieving a diagnosis.

Q Fever is an infectious disease that transmits from animals to humans and is caused by the bacteria  Coxiella burnetii.

While many people do not become sick or experience a mild illness, for others it can result in a prolonged and debilitating illness.

Charles Sturt PhD student Tabita Tan (pictured) is carrying out an online survey as part of her research through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.

“We want to include as wide a range of experiences as possible including people who have been infected without symptoms, those who have had severe illness and parents or guardians who have cared for a child with Q Fever,” Dr Tan said.

“It doesn’t matter how long ago you experienced Q Fever, if you were in Australia, we are keen to hear from you.

“The aim of this questionnaire is to investigate the impacts that Q Fever has on patients and families in Australia and their experiences in achieving a diagnosis for their illness.“

Dr Tan said these patient perspectives on the medical investigation will help explore the likelihood of timely disease detection. 

“Information from the survey will inform our research to develop an emergency response plan to be used if a large Q Fever outbreak in humans was identified,” Dr Tan said.

The survey is available online here. ( until at least the end of February.

Dr Tan’s research is part of a wider, multidisciplinary project ‘Taking the “Query” out of Q Fever’ that aims to improve understanding of Q Fever to develop policies that will limit the likelihood of a large and prolonged outbreak in Australia.

The three-year project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program and university and industry partners.

Project funding is administered by AgriFutures Australia and the national project team includes animal health and infectious disease experts from the University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide, the University of Queensland, the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory, Goat Vet Oz and Meredith Dairy.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews, contact Graham Centre communications officer Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email:

The Graham Centre is a research alliance between Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

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