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Uptake of Q fever vaccine by veterinarians and veterinary nurses in Australia

E. Sellens, J. M. Norris, N. K. Dhand, J. Heller, L. Hayes, H. F. Gidding, H. Willaby, N. Wood, K. L. Bosward

Q FEVER, caused by Coxiella burnetii, is a serious zoonotic disease in people worldwide. Many species of animals are capable of transmitting C burnetii and, consequently, all veterinary workers are at risk of this disease. An effective Q fever vaccine has been used in Australia for many years; however, prevaccination protocols may be viewed as costly and time consuming. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has recently called for the use of this vaccine among at-risk groups in Europe, and lessons from the Australian experience could help to mitigate cost and time. This study aimed to determine the Q fever vaccination status of veterinarians and veterinary nurses in Australia and compare their knowledge and attitudes towards the disease.

An online survey was completed by 890 veterinarians and 852 veterinary nurses between March and June 2014. In the survey, participants were asked to rate their level of Q fever knowledge on a scale of one (lowest) to 10 (highest) and report their self-perceived level of risk of personal …

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