Volume 101, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Query fever (Q fever), caused by , was first described in southern California in 1947. It was found to be endemic and enzoonotic to the region and associated with exposure to livestock. We describe a series of 20 patients diagnosed with Q fever at a Veterans Affairs hospital in southern California, with the aim of contributing toward the understanding of Q fever in this region. Demographics, laboratory data, diagnostic imaging, risk factors, and treatment regimens were collected via a retrospective chart review of patients diagnosed with Q fever at our institution between 2000 and 2016. Cases were categorized as acute or chronic and confirmed or probable. The majority presented with an acute febrile illness (90%). There was a delay in ordering diagnostic serology from the time of symptom onset (acute cases, average 31.9 days; chronic cases, average 63 days), and 15% progressed from acute to chronic infection. Of the chronic cases, 22.2% had endocarditis, 22.2% had endovascular infection, and 11.1% had both endocarditis and endovascular infection. The geographic distribution revealed that 20% resided in rural areas. Of the cases of Q fever that died, death attributed to Q fever was associated with an average diagnostic delay of 65.5 days. Acute Q fever is underreported in this region largely because of its often nonspecific clinical presentation.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 03 Apr 2018
  • Accepted : 13 Mar 2019
  • Published online : 20 May 2019

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