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July 23, 1949


JAMA. 1949;140(12):1030-1031. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900470034009

Q fever is an acute specific rickettsial disease of man characterized by a high grade fever, headache and malaise; often the disease is misdiagnosed as influenza or atypical pneumonia. Davis and Cox in Montana recovered the causative agent of Q fever from the tick, Dermacentor andersoni, several years before the disease itself was recognized. In Australia, Derrick in 1937 reported 9 cases of a new condition occurring in Queensland, which he named "Q fever." Eight of the 9 patients were slaughterhouse workers. The causative agent was named Rickettsia burneti after Burnet, who isolated the organism and recognized it as a rickettsia. Dyer demonstrated that Rickettsia diaporica, described by Cox, was similar to the causative agent of the Australian disease and was serologically and immunologically identical. Because of certain variations and because the causative agent of Q fever shows greater resistance to physical and chemical agents than other rickettsiae, the organism

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