Tularemia, more commonly known as "Rabbit
Fever", is commonly found in rodents and rabbits. It is caused by a
bacteria, Bacterium Tularense, named after Tulane County, Calif. where
it was first described in 1912.
Tularemia has been found in rabbits, squirrels, muskrats, beavers,
possums, fox, coyotes, and cats. It is known to pass from one animal to
another by way of deer flies, wood and dog ticks, house flies,
mosquitoes and gnats, with an occasional transmission being known to
originate from dust found in hay carrying these insects.
Tularemia enters the body through abrasions and cuts, such as chapped
skin. The entry point becomes inflamed and red, much like a spider
bite, and the victim suffers from fever, chills, vomiting and
headaches. Nearby lymph nodes in the neck, groin and armpits swell an
If treated, recovery from "rabbit fever" can take as long as three to
six months and involve extensive regiments of antibiotics. As many as
5-7% of all tularemia cases are fatal.