Treatment with antibiotics can shorten the length of the illness. Antibiotics that are commonly used include tetracycline and doxycycline. Tetracycline given by mouth should not be used by pregnant women or children who still have any baby teeth because it can permanently discolor growing teeth.
Most people get better with treatment. However, complications can be very serious and sometimes even life-threatening. Q fever should always be treated if it is recognized as the cause of symptoms.
Rarely, a heart infection results that can lead to severe symptoms or even death if untreated. Other complications can include:
- Bone infection (
- Brain infection (
- Liver infection (chronic hepatitis)
- Lung infection (
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of Q fever. Also call if you have been treated for Q fever and symptoms return or new symptoms develop.
Review Date: 09/15/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.