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Persistence of impaired health status of Q fever patients 4 years after the first Dutch outbreak

  • G. J. M. LIMONARD (a1), J. B. PETERS (a2) (a3), R. BESSELINK (a4), C. A. R. GROOT (a5), P. N. R. DEKHUIJZEN (a3), J. H. VERCOULEN (a2) (a3) and M. H. NABUURS-FRANSSEN (a6)...

Summary

A significant proportion of Q fever patients from the first Dutch Q fever outbreak in 2007 showed impairment in health status up to 1 year after infection. Interested in whether this decrease in health status persisted, we set out to determine the health status in the same cohort of patients, 4 years after primary infection and to compare health status scores at the individual patient level between 1 and 4 years follow-up. Health status was assessed with the Nijmegen Clinical Screening Instrument (NCSI). Patients were serologically tested to exclude patients with possible, probable or proven chronic Q fever. Results on the NCSI sub-domains at group level [2008 (n = 54) and 2011 (n = 46)] showed a persistent significant percentage of patients exhibiting clinically relevant (‘severe’) scores for all NCSI sub-domains. After 4 years, undue fatigue was present in 46% and exactly half of all patients experienced a severely impaired general quality of life. Patients with NCSI scores available in both 2008 and 2011 (n = 37) showed no difference in all sub-domain scores, except for a small decrease in dyspnoea emotions in 2011. In this group, a significant proportion of patients either improved or worsened in one or more sub-domains of health status. We conclude that at the group level, health status of Q fever patients remained impaired 4 years after primary infection. At the individual patient level, health status may change.

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Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: G. J. M. Limonard, MD, Diakonessenhuis Utrecht, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Bosboomstraat 1, 3508TG Utrecht, The Netherlands. (Email: gjmlimonard@gmail.com)

References

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