COVID not the only animal-borne disease farmers are battling


AgForce is calling on the State Government to invest in and improve access to the vaccine for Q fever, a little-known infectious disease that causes significant lifelong health issues for farm workers.

Q fever is spread to farm workers from infected animals, their surroundings, including straw, hay and grass, and contaminated vehicles and machinery.

Approximately one-third of people who develop Q fever end up in hospital with complications such as Hepatitis, pneumonia, meningitis, and inflammation of the heart. Around 20 per cent of people with acute Q fever develop prolonged fatigue, which can be severe enough to prevent them working for the rest of their lives.

Chair of AgForce’s Work Health and Safety Policy Committee Jacqui Cannon said National Farm Safety Week was the perfect time to raise awareness about the seriousness of Q fever to the farming and wider Queensland community.

“It’s important to highlight this disease affecting the lives of the dedicated farming families and their employees who have kept the supermarket shelves stocked for the rest of the state and the country during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Cannon said.

“A vaccine for Q fever does exist. But the cost is so prohibitive, the current testing regime such a drain on these busy people’s lives, the numbers of doctor’s registered to administer the vaccine so low, that many avoid it.

“Previously, the Federal Government ran a National Q fever Management Program, but that now holds the unenviable reputation of being the only government-funded vaccination program ever defunded in Australia.

“That’s why we need the Queensland Government to follow the lead of New South Wales, which has provided funding for Q fever awareness, including online learning for GPs, and research into a new vaccine that doesn’t require multiple doctor visits.”

Ms Cannon said Q fever wasn’t just an issue for those living in regional and rural Queensland, but for visitors from the city who are generally unaware of the risks.

“Q fever doesn’t only affect farm animals. Kangaroos, camels, dogs and cats, can also cause infection. All you need to do is inhale the dust from where an infected animal may have been sleeping.

“But because those in the bush are most at risk, it’s hard not to see the lack of government intervention on this issue as another example of regional Queenslanders being left behind those in the city.

“That’s why we’re imploring the State Government to stand with regional Queensland, stand with farming families and their workers, and increase the funding for and awareness of Q fever for the health and safety of all Queenslanders.”


Business Business & Economy Health & Wellness Lifestyle Political Primary Industries Queensland Government

AgForce Queensland :
Level 2, 110 Mary Street, Brisbane Qld 4000, Queensland Wide
07 3236 3100
AgForce Queensland
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
LNP adopting AgForce’s landscape management policy a win for agriculture 20 August 2020 | The decision by the LNP to adopt AgForce’s landscape management policy in close to its entirety is a win for environmentally sustainable agriculture and AgForce’s progressive approach. More information...
Ad hoc, city-centric road planning costing Queensland billions 11 August 2020 | Queensland’s failure to develop and fund a comprehensive and strategic road program – instead focusing on emergency fixes and urban roads that attract public attention – is costing the Queensland economy... More information...
Agriculture proud to lead national carbon target – jointly with science 06 August 2020 | AgForce has welcomed today’s commitment by the agriculture industry to lead the national objective of carbon neutrality by 2050 – and has called for vital collaboration with Australia’s world-leading science... More information...
Spotlight on water security for farmers vital for regional communities 28 July 2020 | AgForce has welcomed the LNP’s plan to reduce water prices for Queensland farmers, as well as the release of the long-awaited Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan, because secure and affordable water... More information...
Senate inquiry last chance for pristine Reef and strong communities 27 July 2020 | The Senate inquiry into Reef science being held in Brisbane today is our last chance to maintain a pristine Great Barrier Reef alongside a productive and sustainable farming sector and strong regional communiti... More information...
COVID not the only animal-borne disease farmers are battling 21 July 2020 | AgForce is calling on the State Government to invest in and improve access to the vaccine for Q fever, a little-known infectious disease that causes significant lifelong health issues for farm workers. More information...
Bad science – not ‘bad’ agriculture – jeopardising the Reef 14 July 2020 | Widespread community misunderstanding about the health of the Reef – a result deliberately created by ideologically motivated players and scientific self-interest – is jeopardising not only Australia’s... More information...
State water trading scheme may hold key to agriculture-led COVID recovery 07 July 2020 | A future-looking, bi-partisan water strategy – that may incorporate a broader water allocation trading scheme – is essential if regional Queensland is to lead the State’s post-COVID economic recovery. More information...
ABSF update welcomed by AgForce, but needs to tell our positive story better 25 June 2020 | AgForce has welcomed the third annual update for the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework (ABSF) as celebrating the industry’s significant achievements, but noted that it needs to tell this good news story... More information...
State Government’s view of ag as ‘economic stabiliser’ just rhetoric? 18 June 2020 | Despite their rhetoric on Tuesday morning that agriculture would lead the post-COVID economy recovery, the Labor State Government just a few hours later showed their heart isn’t really in it. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service