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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Tularemia
      Category : Health Centers > Respiratory System (Lungs and Breathing)


Alternate Names : Rabbit Fever

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Tularemia is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans from an infected animal or insect.

What is going on in the body?

Tularemia is caused by the bacterium, Francisella tularensis. Transmission of this infection is usually from the bite of wild or domesticated animals as well as ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes that are infected with this organism. A person may also become infected just by coming in contact with an infected animal (by skinning an infected rabbit, for example) or from the bite of a blood-sucking insect.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

The Francisella tularensis bacteria cause tularemia. A person risks exposure to this bacteria from:

  • close contact with animals and certain insects that are infected with the organism. Hunters and trappers are at risk. In the US, ticks and rabbits remain the main source of infection for humans.
  • contact with blood-sucking insects, including ticks
  • direct exposure to an infected animal, such as handling, skinning, or eating raw meat
  • water contaminated by infected animals


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    Tularemia: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Danielle Zerr, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 04/11/01

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