Tularemia

(Rabbit Fever; Deer-Fly Fever)

Definition

Tularemia is a rare bacterial infection. The effects of the infection will depend on where the exposure occurs. It can be deadly if not treated.

Causes

Tularemia is caused by specific bacteria. It is normally found in small animals, such as mice and rabbits. The bacteria can pass to humans through:
  • Bites of infected animals, ticks, or deer flies
  • Contact with an infected animal's tissues or contaminated water, food, or soil; can enter the body through the lungs, eyes, mouth, nose, or skin
The infection does not pass between people.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of tularemia include:
  • Hunting, trapping, or butchering infected animals
  • Working with infected animals or their tissue
  • Working in a laboratory with the bacteria
  • Eating meat from an infected animal
  • Being bitten by an infected mosquito or tick
  • Biological terrorism

Symptoms

Symptoms usually occur 3-5 days after exposure. The symptoms will depend on where the bacteria entered the body, the type and amount of bacteria you were exposed to, and your immune system.Pneumonic symptoms (lung problems):
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Burning sensation or pain in chest
Ulceroglandular symptoms (skin and lymph gland problems):
  • Raised, red bump that continues to swell
  • Raised area opens, drains pus, and forms an ulcer
  • May form a dark scab
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Chills
Glandular symptoms (problems in lymph nodes):
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes
Oculoglandular symptoms (problems in eyes and lymph nodes):
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tearing
  • Puffy eyelid
  • Swelling, redness, and sores in the eye
  • Swollen lymph nodes
Oropharyngeal symptoms (mouth and throat problems):
  • Irritated membranes in the mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Ulcers in the throat or on tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes
Intestinal symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
Typhoidal symptoms (full body problems):
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cough
Symptoms of progression from other types:
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Organ failure
  • Shock
  • Death
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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