Q Fever is caused by a bacterial infection, and causes flu-like symptoms, which may progress to pneumonia and occasionally hepatitis.
Whilst domestic cattle, goats and sheep are the most common reservoirs for Q fever, a new study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene strengthens the hypothesis that sloths in French Guiana may be a WILD reservoir for Q fever.
Q fever often results in abortion within domestic animals, and the researchers found a 1-2 month lagged correlation between Q fever incidence and the number of three-toed sloth births. This was also associated with the rainy season.
Poor little sick sloths!