Other Names for this Disease
- Deerfly fever
- Francisella tularensis infection
- Lemming fever
- Ohara disease
- Pahvant Valley plague
What are the symptoms of tularemia?
What causes tularemia?
How is tularemia treated?
What is the prognosis for individuals with tularemia?
Tularemia is an infection common in wild rodents caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. It is transmitted to humans by contact with infected animal tissues or by ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes. The condition is most common in North America and parts of Europe and Asia. It is very rare in the United States. The illness, which is characterized by fever, chills, headache, joint pain and muscle weakness, may continue for several weeks after symptoms begin. Streptomycin and tetracycline are commonly used to treat the infection.
- Muscle pains
- Joint stiffness
- Dry cough
- Progressive weakness
- Weight loss
People can also catch pneumonia and develop chest pain, bloody sputum and can have trouble breathing and even sometimes stop breathing.
Other symptoms of tularemia depend on how a person was exposed to the tularemia bacteria. These symptoms can include ulcers on the skin or mouth, swollen and painful lymph glands, swollen and painful eyes, and a sore throat.
- Direct contact, through a break in the skin, with an infected animal or its dead body
- The bite of an infected tick, horsefly, or mosquito
- Eating infected meat (rare)
- Breathing in the bacteria, F. tularensis
Tularemia is not known to be spread from person to person. People who have tularemia do not need to be isolated.
- Dugdale DC, Vyas JM. Tularemia. MedlinePlus. 2009; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000856.htm. Accessed 5/10/2010.
- Key Facts About Tularemia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2003; http://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/tularemia/facts.asp. Accessed 5/10/2010.