ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Key Information About Tularemia

Updated on August 14, 2020
srirad0675 profile image

Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Tularemia, which is also known as rabbit fever or deer fly fever, is a fatal bacterial disease. It can cause serious illness in both people and pets. It is a zoonosis disease of wide variety of wild birds and mammals.

Francisella Tularensis (Colorized in Blue)

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source


Tularemia is caused by gram negative bacteria known as Francisella tularensis. This bacteria can survive in soil, water, and dead animals for weeks.

Most cases occur from being bitten by flies or ticks carrying the bacterium or from exposure to tissue from animal infected with the bacteria.

Drinking contaminated water, inhaling contaminated aerosols and laboratory exposure are other ways people can get infected.

"The tick species known to carry the bacteria prefer hares and rodents, but will occasionally bite dogs, cats, or people," said Dr Kimberlee Beckmen, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game veterinarian.

"Even the saliva from the dog's mouth, or even a scratch from a cat who has handled the sick hare can then transmit the bacteria to a person even before the dog or cat get sick," said Dr Beckmen.

Snowshoe hare is the most common carrier of the ticks that spread Francisella tularensis.

Snowshoe Hare

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Bites from infected ticks and the handling of infected rabbits are responsible for most tularemia cases.


Ulceroglandular tularemia
Skin ulcer, painful lymph glands, swollen lymph glands, chills, fever, headache and fatigue.
Glandular tularemia
Painful lymph glands, swollen lymph glands, chills, fever, headache and fatigue.
Oculoglandular tularemia
Eye pain, red eyes, eye swelling, ulcer on the inside of the eyelid, and sensitivity to light.
Oropharyngeal tularemia
Fever, throat pain, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, inflamed tonsils and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Typhoidal tularemia
High fever, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, enlarged spleen, enlarged liver and pneumonia.
Pneumonic tularemia
Dry cough, chest pain and breathing problems.

A Tularemia Lesion

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Cady's Case

In April 2014, 13-year-old Cady Stortzum's father noticed something attached to her head.

It was a tick, which he removed. That tick bite eventually led to an ulcer on her head, which was the first sign that something was wrong with Cady.

Her lymph nodes soon swelled up, which in conjunction with severe pain, made it clear that she needed help.

After weeks of misdiagnosis, doctors at Children’s (hospital in Omaha) diagnosed he with tularemia.


Streptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, and ciprofloxacin are some antibiotics used to treat tularemia.

Treatment usually lasts 10 to 21 days depending on the stage of the disease and the medicines administered.

F tularensis strains generally are resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics, owing in part to beta-lactamase activity.

Outbreaks of the disease tend to be smaller events, clustered around wild-life exposures or inhalation of contaminated dust/aerosols.


No vaccine against tularemia is available to the general public. However, the risk of infection can be reduced by following these precautions.

Use insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or IR3535. Wear long pants, long sleeves and long socks to prevent tick bites.

Avoid contact with untreated water where infection is common in wild animals. Never drink untreated water.

Avoid touching wild animal tissue. Use impervious gloves when skinning or handling animals, especially rabbits. Cook the meat of wild rabbits and rodents thoroughly.

Use a plastic bag when taking a hare away from your pet. Bury dead hare deep enough where pets or other animals can not reach them. Wash hands thoroughly afterward.

Are foods that strengthen the immune system part of your diet?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)