The wind bears bad news for all rabbits out there. CDC officials, along with several representatives from the US’s health department have established that 4 states are facing an outbreak of tularemia, better known as rabbit fever. It would seem that rabbit fever is on the rampage again, the last serious outbreak being sorted out back in the ‘80s.
According to some health reports, it would seem that tularemia’s incidence has rather insignificant in the last two decades. Meaning that in the last 20 years, an average of 125 cases have been diagnosed each year. But it is very likely that the balance of power has shifted. Health authorities reported on Thursday, that this year alone almost 235 cases of rabbit fever have sprung up from nowhere.
Approximately four states have reported cases of tularemia, including Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota. Specialists cautioned people to handle rabbits with care and to thoroughly wash their hand afterwards. The disease jumps from rabbit to humans, via an insect that inhabits the rabbit’s fur. The ferocious creature jumps from the rabbit, bites humans, thus contaminated them with a dangerous bacteria. All signs confirm that rabbit fever is on the rampage.
More on tularemia and how to prevent getting it. Tularemia, widely known as rabbit fever, deer fever or Pahvant Valley fever is an infectious disease caused by a Gram- negative bacteria called Francisella tularensis.
According to rabbit’s fever symptomatology, there are 6 classifications of tularemia, depending on how you got infected. The classes are as following: ulceroglandular, glandular, pneumonic, typhoid, oropharyngeal and oculoglandular.
The bacteria has an incubation period of 14 days, and the symptoms will start to emerge on the third day. The most common symptoms associated with tularemia are high fever, loss of appetite, listlessness, increased signs of sepsis and, possibly, if the disease is kept unchecked, it could very well lead to death.
When infiltrating the bloodstream, the bacteria is capable of inflaming both face and eyes. As the disease progresses, the infection is translated to the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes will increase in size and eventually they will begin to suppurate.
It has been proven that tularemia is a disease that affects multiple organs at once, including liver, lymphatic system and lungs. Also, rabbit fever is treatable, using a course of antibiotics, but the best defense against the rabbit’s offense is a good preventive education.
A vaccine is also available for some strain of tularemia, but the vaccine is aimed for those high-risk cases. The best way to prevent tularemia is to handle animals with care, wash your hands afterwards and to always remember to wear protective gloves and eye goggles.