Tularemia – Canada

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In Long Point, Lake Erie (Norfolk, Ontario, Canada) an outbreak of tularemia or rabbit fever has been spotted in the muskrat population. No human cases have been reported yet.

Rabbit fever is caused by tularemia bacteria. The bacteria are carried by deer flies and ticks and can cause disease in humans and animals such as muskrats, rabbits, and beavers. It may also be spread by drinking contaminated water or breathing in contaminated dust. It does not spread directly between people.

In humans, the bacteria typically attacks the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, and lungs.

Prevention is by using insect repellent, wearing long pants, rapidly removing ticks, and not disturbing dead animals.

The disease is named after Tulare County, California, where the disease was discovered in 1911.

Photo: Muskrat in water.

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