MANILA, June 22 ― Philippines Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) confirmed yesterday the country’s first cases of Q fever in imported goats from the United States (US), according to Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by the Coxiella burnetii bacteria, which is transmissible to humans through contact with infected animals or their excreta, or body and birthing fluids.

In a press conference, BAI National Veterinary Quarantine Services Division officer-in-charge Dr Christian Daquigan said 19 samples from the imported goats tested positive for Q fever after a series of tests.

He said all infected goats, which were bought for the dispersal programme for farmers, were already “depopulated in secluded farms” in Pampanga and Marinduque to ensure the safety of animals and humans.

Even the goats that have not been tested were depopulated to eliminate any possible source of Q fever infection, he said.

Some 94 imported goats were affected, PNA reported.

“BAI is taking decisive measures to contain the disease and prevent further spread. Infected goats have been depopulated, and tracing of potentially infected animals is ongoing to prevent the spread of Q fever,” Daquigan said.

He said no major outbreak was recorded, and the agency is conducting extensive surveillance in the affected areas.

“We cannot say that it’s a major outbreak because the animals are secluded in a single area. We have prevented its spread, so to speak, there’s no further transmission,” he said. ― Bernama