Alternate Names : Rabbit Fever
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?
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