Q Fever - Complications

What complications did you experience with Q fever?

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What complications may arise with Q fever?

The main complication seen with acute Q fever is pneumonia, which will affect 30%-50% of patients. Another complication can be hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). Rarely, patients can develop myocarditis (heart inflammation), osteomyelitis (bone inflammation), acalculous cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Pregnant women have complications ranging from miscarriage to premature delivery. About 20% of people will have persistent fatigue called post-Q fever fatigue syndrome, which lasts more than a year after the infection. Also, 5% of patients with acute Q fever will go on to develop chronic Q fever. The main complication of chronic Q fever is endocarditis, which will affect 60%-70% of patients. People who already have problems with their heart valves or their immune system are more likely to develop endocarditis. The second most common complication is vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), which is more likely in people who have grafts in their blood vessels. Chronic lung infections and chronic fatigue syndrome can also occur. Endocarditis can cause destruction of the heart valves and result in heart failure. Surgery may be required to repair or replace the valves. Vasculitis, especially in people with grafts or aneurysms in their blood vessels, can also require surgery.

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