In the world, most Q fever outbreaks have resulted mainly from occupational exposure involving veterinarians, meat processing plant workers, sheep and dairy workers, livestock farmers, and researchers at facilities housing sheep. Prevention and control efforts should be directed primarily toward these groups and environments. The following measures should be used in the prevention and control of Q fever:
- Educate the persons in high risk occupations sources of infection, and adequate disinfection procedures.
- Appropriately dispose of placenta, birth products, fetal membranes, and aborted fetuses at facilities housing sheep and goats.
- Restrict access to barns and laboratories used in housing potentially infected animals.
- Pasteurize all milk and milk products.
- Use appropriate procedures for bagging, autoclaving, and washing of laboratory clothing.
- Vaccinate (where possible) individuals engaged in research with pregnant sheep and goats or live C. burnetii.
- Quarantine imported animals.
- Ensure that holding facilities for sheep and goats should be located away from populated areas. Animals should be routinely tested for antibodies to C. burnetii, and measures should be implemented to prevent airflow to other occupied areas.
- Counsel persons at highest risk for developing chronic Q fever, especially persons with pre-existing cardiac valvular disease or individuals with vascular grafts.