Tularemia (Rabbit Fever, Deer-fly Fever)
Tularemia is an infectious disease that can afflict a wide range of animals, including humans. Persons can be exposed to the tularemia bacteria, Francisella tularensis, through contact or consumption of contaminated food, water, or soil; by handling the meat or skin of infected animals; by breathing in contaminated dust or aerosols; or via the bite of certain ticks and flies. Most cases of tularemia are mild and infected persons experience fever, achiness, and swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes tularemia can cause ulcerous wounds on the skin, and rarely it can affect the gastrointestinal or respiratory tract. Tularemia cannot be spread person to person.
Tularemia can be prevented by not handling tissues from wild animals, particularly rabbits and rodents. Wash hands promptly and thoroughly after any contact with wild animals or soil. Avoid drinking water from untreated sources. While in tick habitat, wear protective clothing, apply insect repellents, and promptly remove any attached ticks.