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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0361-2343, M-I Drilling Fluids, Greybull, Wyoming.

Van Gilder TJ; Robinson L
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 92-0361-2343, 1993 Aug; :1-18
In response to a request from the state epidemiologist in Wyoming, an investigation was begun of two cases of acute, febrile hepatitis in employees of M-I Drilling Fluids (SIC-1459), Greybull, Wyoming. The two cases of hepatitis were caused by Coxiella-burnetii, the rickettsia which causes Q-fever. The men worked at the bentonite mine in Greybull. A survey of 39 workers using a self administered questionnaire and a blood test for antibodies to C-burnetii revealed seven workers with serologic evidence of infection. Three showed evidence of recent infection and four showed evidence of past infection. The major risk factor identified through the questionnaire data was sheep ownership. Risk factors suggestive of either recent or past infection included working outdoors, operating heavy equipment, and hunting. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard existed in outdoor workers at this bentonite mining facility. The authors recommend that a high index of suspicion for Q-fever in persons with unexplained fever and influenza like symptoms, hepatitis, or pneumonia should be maintained. Cases of Q- fever should be reported to the state epidemiologist by local physicians. All contact with soil obviously contaminated with animal urine, feces or birth products as well as animals which are in the process of giving birth should be avoided. Pregnant women and persons with valvular heart disease should be warned of the dangers of Q-fever.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-0361-2343; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Disease-vectors; Infectious-diseases; Epidemiology; Liver-disorders; Mine-workers; Author Keywords: bentonite mining; Wyoming bentonite; Q fever; Coxiella burnetii; hepatitis; occupational; vector-borne
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division