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Q Fever: Surveillance & Reporting Overview for Clinicians

Case Definition

  • Q Fever Case Definition
    NOTE: This definition is for public health surveillance purposes only. It is not intended for use in clinical diagnosis.


  • In collaboration with state health departments, CDC maintains surveillance for human Q fever cases in the United States.
  • All cases of Q fever in humans are nationally reportable. Physicians should report cases meeting a confirmed or probable case definition (see case definition above) to their state health department.
  • Clinicians, infection control professionals (ICPs), and hospital epidemiologists should maintain heightened awareness to facilitate recognition of
    • an individual case or changing patterns or clusters of illness that would indicate possible C. burnetii (Q fever) infection and
    • changing patterns or clusters of illness that would indicate a release of a biologic agent, such as C. burnetii.


  • Q Fever Case Report(1,040 kb/3 pages)
  • When C. burnetii is suspected, cannot be ruled out, and/or when a bioterrorism incident is suspected the following steps should be taken:
    • Immediately contact the local infection control professional (ICP) and/or hospital epidemiologist.
    • Follow the facility protocol for prompt notification of local and state health department epidemiologists or health officers.
  • To reach a public health department consult one of the following:
  • If the local and/or state health departments cannot be reached, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100.