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Health Considerations for Overseas Vets working in Australia

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Q fever

Q fever vaccination is recommended for all people who are working in, or intend to work in the veterinary field.
Q fever is caused by Coxiella burnetii, is a serious zoonotic disease in humans with a worldwide distribution. Many species of animals (commonly cattle, sheep, goats but also cats and dogs) are capable of transmitting C. burnetii, and consequently all veterinary staff are potentially at risk. Australia is the only country to have a licensed Q fever vaccine (QVax). Almost all, if not all, Australian veterinary graduates are vaccinated but overseas graduates, veterinary nurses and kennel staff should not be overlooked. The vaccine has been used in Australia for many years however still there are over 600 notifications across Australia annually. For more information visit http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/q-fever-veterinary-staff.aspx

Hendra

Overseas Vets working with horses in Australia should be aware of Hendra virus. Hendra virus infection in people can be fatal. http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/hendra_virus.aspx

Australian Bat Lyssavirus

ABLV infection can occur after being scratched or bitten by bats in Australia. Only people who have been vaccinated against rabies should handle bats or flying foxes. For more information see http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/infectious/factsheets/pages/rabies-australian-bat-lyssavirus-infection.aspx

Author:

Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment
November 2017

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

28/11/2017 |
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