Tularemia – Taiwan

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One case of Tulameria (Rabbit Fever) has been reported in Taiwan, as a man in his 60s has tested positive for the rare disease.

The man’s source of infection is unknown as he neither traveled nor was in close contact to animals. His symptoms include fever, chills and diarrhea and the disease is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. If untreated, the lethality can be between 30 and 60%.

No other member of the man’s family has reported any symptoms, despite the disease being highly contagious. The man remains the only patient.

Photo: a murine macrophage infected with Francisella tularensis.

Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Symptoms may include fever, skin ulcers, and enlarged lymph nodes. Occasionally, a form that results in pneumonia or a throat infection may occur.

The bacterium is typically spread by ticks, deer flies, or contact with infected animals. It may also be spread by drinking contaminated water or breathing in contaminated dust. It does not spread directly between people.

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