Tularemia is an infection common in wild rodents and can be passed to humans through contact with infected animal tissues or by ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes. Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. F. tularensis tularensis which is found in lagomorphs in North America, is highly virulent in humans and domestic rabbits.

Humans can get the disease through:

A bite from an infected tick, horsefly, or mosquito

Breathing in infected dirt or plant material

Direct contact, through a break in the skin, with an infected animal or its dead body (most often a rabbit, muskrat, beaver, or squirrel)

Eating infected meat (rare)

high fever
swollen glands
chills, headache
extreme fatigue
muscle aches
joint pain
dry cough
progressive weakness
weight loss
nausea, vomiting. diarrhea
abdominal pain
intestinal ulcerations
inflamed eyes often with a discharge
sore throat, mouth sores

The drug of choice is streptomycin. Tularemia may also be treated with gentamicin for ten days, tetracycline-class drugs such as doxycycline for two to three weeks.

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