Respiratory Infections

The agricultural environment harbors a rich microbial reservoir that can lead to several human infections and zoonoses depending on the specific exposures and work activities. Examples include development of swine influenza in hog confinement workers, psittacosis in poultry workers, Q fever from aerosolization of Coxiella burnetii from infected goats, sheep, and cattle, causing atypical pneumonia, and infections with Mycobacterium bovis, which is endemic in farm animals (118).

Exposure to rodent urine, saliva, and droppings after aerosolization can lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). This is caused by the sin nombre virus, a single-stranded RNA hantavirus from the Bunyaviridae family. Documented cases have been associated with agricultural activities such as handling grain and cleaning animal sheds. Cases have been reported from North, Central, and South America. The fatality rate can be as high as 30% to 40%. Symptoms of HPS include an initial febrile prodrome similar to a general viral syndrome. However, after about 3 to 5 days, rapid progression to pulmonary edema occurs, resulting in respiratory failure and need for mechanical ventilation. Ribavirin is investigational and of no proven benefit. Extracorporeal oxygenation has been used with some success (7,119).

0 0

Post a comment