The Western NSW Local Health District is warning people to get vaccinated to guard against Q fever, as drought and high winds increase the risk of the disease spreading.
So far this year there have been 47 confirmed cases of Q fever in the area. Q fever is a bacterial infection caused by inhaling dust particles contaminated by infected animal secretions.
The infection is carried by cattle, goats, sheep and other domesticated and wild animals. However, the bacteria can easily be carried on farm tools or work clothes and brought into the family home.
Q fever symptoms often appear like severe flu, with high fevers and chills, sweating, severe headaches, muscle and joint pains and extreme fatigue. A single dose vaccine is recommended for people who have the potential to be exposed to Q fever.