Commonly known as “rabbit fever”, tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis.
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.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms can vary depending on how the bacteria enter the body. When introduced via tick bite, tularemia typically presents as:
- This is the most common form of tularemia and usually occurs following a tick or deer fly bite or after handing of an infected animal. A skin ulcer appears at the site where the bacteria entered the body. The ulcer is accompanied by swelling of regional lymph glands, usually in the armpit or groin.
- Similar to ulceroglandular tularemia but without an ulcer. Also generally acquired through the bite of an infected tick or deer fly or from handling sick or dead animals.