First described in Australia in 1935, Q fever is a disease with acute and chronic stages. Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, a species of bacteria that is distributed globally. In 1999, Q fever became a notifiable disease in the United States but reporting is not required in many other countries. The incidence of Q fever is underreported due to the mildness of many cases. Because the disease is underreported, scientists cannot reliably assess how many cases of Q fever have actually occurred worldwide.