Richard Spertzel: I was called "the walking guinea pig."
Slava Paperno: When was it, and why?
Spertzel: Because I had... I had developed VEE infection. Now, that came about from the TC50 live vaccine, which wasn't quite as attenuated as they thought it was. I developed a Q fever infection because of a little bit of sloppy laboratory... but I was harvesting egg yolk material, and the syringe slipped, and got me right about there. And they... immediately what you're trained to do, is at that point in time, you basically do what you need to do to protect what you've got there in the laboratory. It might just be a matter of dumping it into some formaldehyde, and get out of the hot suite, and get over to the medical unit. I did that. And so they took blood, and you know, the usual samples, waited, and... this was on a Friday. On the Saturday I was in a bowling tournament. And I really, by noontime I really wasn't feeling well, but... So I went back to the clinic, and they put me on antibiotics, but it was the wrong one. It was antibiotics aimed at a strep infection, because they figured that that's too fast a response for Q fever. So the next day was Sunday, and again I... it was a 15-game bowling tournament that weekend, so I bowled the first three games, finishing at noontime, and I knew then that there was more than just strep involved in that. And I got back to the medical unit, to the hospital, and by midnight I had lapsed into a coma. Almost unheard of with Q fever. But then, a two-day incubation period is almost unheard of. And it's dose-dependent. If you get enough, you get sick early. I'm just saying I had... I woke up at Wednesday at noontime, and had another ten to fourteen days recovery.
Q fever: Coxiella burnetii.