The meteorological model could be used to forecast the spread of Q fever from farms to humans up to a few days in advance, allowing general practitioners and veterinarians to monitor high-risk areas and treat patients more rapidly. If a human infection is discovered early enough, Q fever can easily be treated using antibiotics. The results of the doctoral research may be relevant for future outbreaks of Q fever and other infectious airborne diseases, such as Legionnaires’ disease and the avian flu virus.
Furthermore, the distance from the cases’ home addresses to the source is an important risk factor for Q fever. In addition, environmental factors were correlated to Q fever incidence as well. Vegetation seems to limit the spread and thus has a protective effect. By contrast, soils that are sensitive to erosion increase the spread: bacteria on these soils might cause new contaminations away from farms and at a later stage.
This research is an important step in the development to
determine public health risks of pathogens through the air, such as
Q fever, using meteorological and
mathematical models. Further development will mainly focus on
determining accurate Q fever emission