The Guyra NSW Farmers Branch and the Guyra Medical Centre are waging a war on Q fever with a local vaccination program.
The program includes a blood test, a free skin test and vaccination for those exposed to disease risk.
Newly elected chair of NSW Farmers Guyra Branch, Callan Schaefer, said NSW Farmers would cover the cost of the skin test.
“There will be a cost of $132 for the vaccination if it is deemed necessary, as it is not available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,” Mr Schaeffer said.
“Q fever is a debilitating disease, but the good news is that it can be prevented with vaccination. I encourage all farmers and their families to take this opportunity to get vaccinated.”
NSW Farmers Executive Councillor and Guyra farmer James Jackson said Guyra is a Q fever hotspot with 22 per cent of the population having exposure risk to the disease.
“People working with animals are especially at risk. The bacteria that causes the disease is found in most farm animals but is also present in cats, dogs and native animals such as kangaroos,” Mr Jackson said.
“The range of people at risk is growing as we understand the extent of the disease. Green keepers and gardeners are at significant risk due to exposure to native animal droppings.
Farmers, shearers, vets, vet nurses, abattoir workers and anyone handling the clothing of these workers are at an extreme risk of contracting Q fever.
What is Q fever?
The disease can present as an acute flu like condition that is quite debilitating in itself however some people contract a chronic form of it that can have a debilitating effect on the patient for months or even years.
If you are over 15 years of age and are at risk of contracting this illness you are encouraged to partake in this program.”
The Guyra Medical Centre will be hosting two Q fever Clinics, with the first starting on 1 November for blood screening, November 8 for skin testing and November 15 for the vaccination. The second clinic will start on November 29.
For more information about this vaccination program please contact Jenni Jackson on 0403080536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before October 25.