Q Fever vaccination program to run again
Guyra branch of NSW Farmers and the Guyra Medical Centre are joining forces for the second time to run a Q Fever vaccination program. The disease is a significant cause of illness and indeed death in the broader community however people working with animals are especially at risk.
Guyra is one of the hotspots in NSW for this illness with as much as 22 per cent of the population showing exposure to the disease.
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.
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. The range of people at risk is growing with green keepers and gardeners having tested positive to the disease.
Farmers, shearers, vets, vet nurses, abattoir workers and anyone handling the clothing of these workers are at an extreme risk of contracting Q fever.
The good news is that this disease can be prevented with a vaccination. The bad news is that each person has to be tested for possible exposure to the disease before you can be vaccinated. So it means a couple of visits to the surgery.
Students who work on farms in their holidays and over the age of 15 should be vaccinated.
The Guyra branch of NSW farmers, in conjunction with Dr Jeyakumar at the Guyra Medical Clinic, are offering a vaccination program. The program requires a blood test and a skin test, followed by the vaccination.
Guyra branch of NSW Farmers will pay for the skin test, however, the patient will be required to pay $155.00 for the vaccination if it is deemed necessary.
It is not available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme but may be tax-deductible. Previously, the ATO’s advice stated that only those working with cattle as part of their employment could claim the cost of Q fever testing and vaccination as a tax deduction.
The advice has been updated to include those working with sheep and goats as part of their employment. The ATO also confirms that employers can make deductions for the cost of vaccinating employees operating as part of those businesses.
If you are interested in being part of this vaccination program please contact Jenni Jackson on 0403 080 536.
A clinic will be held on Friday 22nd November for Blood screening and Skin test. A vaccination clinic will be held on Friday 29th November where the Q fever vaccination will be given.
NSW Farmers is encouraging all people at risk of contracting this illness to take up this offer by Guyra Medical Centre and the Guyra Branch of NSW Farmers
You do not have to be a patient at the Guyra Medical Centre to partake in this program.