Confirmed cases of Q fever among staff at a meat factory have increased to 24 according to health officials yesterday.
11 workers from the Scotbeef meat processing company in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, have been reported to have been hit by the rare flu-like illness last week.
However following blood tests NHS Forth Valley has revised that figure to 24 since yesterdaly. Blood tests show a positive result only two to four weeks after the onset of the illness, by which time most people usually make a full recovery.
The director of public health at NHS Forth Valley, Malcolm McWhirter said,'While the peak of the illness appears to be over, we expect more laboratory-confirmed cases from staff at the plant as results become available.'
Health professionals in the Forth Valley area have been warned to look out for patients who may have contracted Q fever caused by the Coxiella burnetii organism and living in farm animals like cattle, sheep and goats as well as wild animals and ticks.
Drinking unpasteurised milk and contact with animals can lead to infection in humans.