Stay Vigilant Against Tularemia: Protect Yourself From This Severe Infectious Disease

Vigilant Against

Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever and deer fly fever, is a severe infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria Francisella Tularensis. This bacteria is found in animals and in water, soil, hay, and grasses. It is mainly transmitted to humans through bites from ticks and deer flies, contact with infected animals, and inhalation of contaminated dust or aerosols. Tularemia can result in serious local or systemic illness, including death.

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Signs and Symptoms of Tularemia

The signs and symptoms of tularemia vary depending on the route of transmission. Common symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • malaise
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • sore throat
  • swollen lymph nodes

Complications of Tularemia

If left untreated, tularemia can lead to a number of complications. These include sepsis, meningitis, encephalitis, and respiratory failure. People with weakened immune systems, including the elderly and children, are more susceptible to these complications.

How to Protect Yourself From Tularemia

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself from tularemia. To reduce your risk of contracting the disease:

  • Wear long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors or in areas with a lot of wildlife or rodents.
  • Avoid contact with dead animals or their carcasses.
  • Wear insect repellant that contains DEET to ward off ticks and deer flies.
  • Avoid drinking or swimming in contaminated water.
  • Avoid contact with soil and dust that may be contaminated.

If you think that you may have been exposed to tularemia, seek medical help right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to reduce the risk of serious complications.

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