A new case of Q fever has been identified in Elim (municipality Hoogeveen, Drenthe province). This has been reported by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The infection came to light through the bulk milk testing that is done every 4 weeks. It is the 1st case of Q fever since December 2011, when the bacterium reappeared on a farm in Vinkel [province North Brabant], which had already been infected. It is a farm with 440 goats. The animals showed no clinical signs; the lambing period has just ended.
The VWA [Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority] reports that the farm is known to have met the vaccination requirements. The VWA is examining the possible cause [sic] of infection.
The last [previous] case of Q fever infection on a farm which had not been infected earlier took place in April 2011. The total number of Q fever infected goat/sheep farms [in the Netherlands] is 99. [Of these farms], 58 have by now been declared free of the disease.
Infected farms are required to undertake extra hygiene measures. No animal should be transported to slaughter. There is a prohibition upon the use of such farm’s manure for 150 days. Visits to the farm are allowed only to professionals due to their specified responsibilities.
Other visits are not allowed for 90 days after infection.
Since the large outbreak of Q fever, all dairy goats and dairy sheep in the Netherlands are compulsorily vaccinated against _Coxiella burnetii_. This year’s  vaccination campaign started in early April 2012. All animals must be vaccinated before 1 Aug 2012. In addition, farms with a public function [which are not dairy farms], such as petting zoos, must be similarly vaccinated.
Q fever is transmissible to humans. Hundreds have been sickened by the bacteria. According to RIVM [The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment], 35 people infected by Q fever are known to have died in the Netherlands. According to unofficial figures, the number of illnesses and deaths in humans is higher.
[For the location of Elim, see map at
A recent EU presentation on Q fever in the Netherlands, discussed during the SCoFCAH (Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal
Health) meeting in Brussels on 8-9 Mar 2012, including useful references, is available at <http://tinyurl.com/7hf8zru>. -