CDC – Francisella tularensis

Tularemia is a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium . Rabbits, hares, and rodents are especially susceptible and often die in large numbers during outbreaks. Humans can become infected through several routes, including:

  • Tick and deer fly bites
  • Skin contact with infected animals
  • Ingestion of contaminated water
  • Laboratory exposure
  • Inhalation of contaminated dusts or aerosols
  • In addition, humans could be exposed as a result of bioterrorism.
  • Symptoms vary depending upon the route of infection. Although tularemia can be life-threatening, most infections can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

    Steps to prevent tularemia include:
    Use of insect repellent
    Wearing gloves when handling sick or dead animals
    Avoiding mowing over dead animals
    In the United States, naturally occurring infections have been reported from all states except Hawaii.

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