Occupational Asthma Reference

Alonso E, Lopez-Etxaniz I, Hurtado A, Liendo P, Urbaneja F, et al., Q Fever Outbreak among Workers at a Waste-Sorting Plant., Plos One, 2015;10:e0138817,https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138817

Keywords: Spain, Q fever, outbreak, waste recycling, outbreak

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Abstract

An outbreak of Q fever occurred in February–April 2014 among workers at a waste-sorting plant in Bilbao (Spain). The outbreak affected 58.5% of investigated employees, 47.2% as confirmed cases (PCR and/or serology) and 11.3% as probable cases (symptoms without laboratory confirmation). Only employees who had no-access to the waste processing areas of the plant were not affected and incidence of infection was significantly higher among workers not using respiratory protection masks. Detection by qPCR of Coxiella burnetii in dust collected from surfaces of the plant facilities confirmed exposure of workers inside the plant. Animal remains sporadically detected among the residues received for waste-sorting were the most probable source of infection. After cleaning and disinfection, all environmental samples tested negative. Personal protection measures were reinforced and made compulsory for the staff and actions were taken to raise farmers’ awareness of the biological risk of discharging animal carcasses as urban waste.

Plain text: An outbreak of Q fever occurred in February-April 2014 among workers at a waste-sorting plant in Bilbao (Spain). The outbreak affected 58.5% of investigated employees, 47.2% as confirmed cases (PCR and/or serology) and 11.3% as probable cases (symptoms without laboratory confirmation). Only employees who had no-access to the waste processing areas of the plant were not affected and incidence of infection was significantly higher among workers not using respiratory protection masks. Detection by qPCR of Coxiella burnetii in dust collected from surfaces of the plant facilities confirmed exposure of workers inside the plant. Animal remains sporadically detected among the residues received for waste-sorting were the most probable source of infection. After cleaning and disinfection, all environmental samples tested negative. Personal protection measures were reinforced and made compulsory for the staff and actions were taken to raise farmers' awareness of the biological risk of discharging animal carcasses as urban waste.

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