Q fever is mainly spread from animals to humans via inhalation of infected particles in the air.
Other routes of infection include:
Cattle, sheep and goats are the main sources of human infection, but certain native and feral mammals (e.g. kangaroos, bandicoots, rats, horses, camels), as well as domestic animals such as cats and dogs, may also be implicated.
Most infected animals do not show symptoms or get sick. They can shed the bacteria in their urine, faeces (poo), milk, wool and birth products which can subsequently contaminate surrounding material such as soil, dust, grass, straw, clothes, hair. The bacterium is highly infective and resistant, capable of withstanding harsh conditions for long periods of time.