Tick borne disease: Tularemia

Also known as: rabbit fever, deer fly fever, Ohara’s fever, tularaemia, Pahvant Valley plague, Hunters disease

Disease Agent: Francisella tularensis

Infectious Bite Time: Information on how long a tick infected with tularemia needs to remain attached to you for disease transmission to occur is inconclusive

Incubation Period: Impacts of tularemia usually begin within 3 to 5 days after you are bitten by an infected tick

Common Signs and Symptoms: Tularemia symptoms include chest discomfort, fatigue, chest pain, cough, sore throat, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, skin ulcer at site of bite, dry cough, swollen lymph nodes. Note there are several forms of tularemia (see below), the symptoms listed here are associated with the form of the disease transmitted by tick bite, symptoms will vary in other forms.

Serious Complications: Lung damage, brain damage, spinal cord damage, heart damage

Treatment Options: Health care options may be available, antibiotics can help. Antibiotics that have been used to treat tularemia include Doxycycline, Streptomycin, Gentamicin, and Ciprofloxacin. If you believe you have contracted tularemia consult a medical professional, early diagnosis is essential to preventing serious complications, delaying treatment can make a bad situation worse, resulting in escalated symptom severity or even death.

Notes and Facts: Tularemia is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. There are different types of Tularemia, ulceroglandular tularemia is the variety transmitted by the bite of an infected tick, the most common type. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems may be at a higher risk for serious complications from this disease. Tularemia is a national problem and cases have been reported coast to coast, in every state apart from Hawaii. Tularemia is commonly referred to as “rabbit fever” because rabbits are habitually attacked and infected by ticks carrying this disease, sheep and livestock are also frequent victims. You cannot simply look at a tick and determine if it is infected with tularemia, if a tick is attached to you learn how to remove a tick and keep the tick, it can be tested for tularemia. Use Tick Proof to prevent future attacks.

What ticks transmit Tularemia? American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, Lone Star tick

Primary Vector: A primary vector among ticks has not been established

Number of infections per year, United States: 1200+

The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (below) transmits tularemia.