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An outbreak of Q fever in workers at an abattoir in Cooma, in the Monaro District of New South Wales, is currently under investigation. To 28 September 1998, out of an estimated workforce of approximately 100, there have been 18 confirmed cases and 12 suspected cases. So far, any suspected cases that have occurred outside the abattoir environment have tested negative. In the majority of suspected and confirmed cases the clinical onset of disease occurred in late August or the first week of September, 1998. Infected stock from outside the Monaro District have been implicated as the source of the epidemic. A screening and vaccination programme of all abattoir employees has been implemented and is nearing completion.
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 22, No 10, 1 October 1998.