Which patient history suggests zoonotic community-acquired pneumonia (CAP)?

Updated: Oct 31, 2019
  • Author: Stephanie L Baer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Contact with the appropriate zoonotic vector or its by-product (eg, milk, urine, feces, placenta) is needed to develop a zoonotic CAP. A history of occupational exposure to livestock (eg, farmers, veterinarians) or close contact with a parturient animal should be sought in patients with suspected Q fever. Psittacosis is preceded by recent contact with birds infected with C psittaci. Occupations and avocations associated with increased risk include poultry farming, pet shops, veterinary clinics, and ownership of pet birds (classically of the psittacine, or parrot, family). Hantavirus is transmitted via exposure to wild rodents, specifically to aerosolized rodent urine or feces; thus, queries as to whether a patient presenting with severe CAP works or recreates in a setting conducive to rodent exposure (eg, farms, ranches, forests) is warranted.

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