Tularemia (deer fly fever, rabbit fever) is a medical condition in which tularemia bacterial infection is resulted from the bacterium, called TularemiaFrancisella Tularensis.

Individuals may get infected with Francisella Tularensis by touching or eating infected animals. Such bacterium may include unbroken skin. Tularemia also spreads when animal tissue bacteria become inhaled and airborne, and it may also be transmitted by an infected tick or similar pests.

Laboratory workers, hunters, fur handlers, farmers, and butchers are most likely to become infected. In the winter, most Tularemia episodes are caused by contact with wild rabbit (particularly, during the skinning process). In the summer, Tularemia can be caused by being bitten by an infected tick or similar pest or by handling infected animal. In rare cases, Tularemia can be resulted from drinking contaminated water or eating undercooked meat. Individual-to-individual spreading has not been reported.

Tularemia symptoms begin abruptly, in one to ten days; mostly, two to four days after contact with the bacterium. The symptoms include severe exhaustion, headaches, a fever up to 104 degrees, vomiting, nausea, and chills. Profuse drenching sweats , repeated chills, and severe weakness progresses. In one or two days, inflamed blisters appear at the site of infection, mostly in the mouth’ roof, eye, arm, or finger, except in the typhoidal and glandular forms of Tularemia.

The blister quickly fill with pus and open to form an ulcer. Single ulcer usually appears on the legs or arms, but most ulcers generally occur in the eye or the mouth. Usually, only 1 eye is infected. Lymph nodes surrounding the ulcer become larger and can create pus, that later drains.

Individuals, who have Tularemic Pneumonia, can become delirious. However, such pneumonia can result in only slight symptoms, such as dry cough that causes a burning feeling in the middle of the chest. The rash can occur at any time during disease course. A physician suggests Tularemia in individual with sudden symptoms development and certain infection ulcers after having slight contact with a mammal, particularly, a rabbit or after being exposed to ticks.

Tularemia acquired by a laboratory worker, often infects only the lungs or lymph’s nodes, and is difficult to diagnose. Tularemia diagnosis may be confirmed by a sample of growing bacteria in the ulcer, sputum/blood sample, or lymph node samples. In most cases, tularemia is treated by using antibiotics, which are given orally for five to seven days, or in form of injection. A moist bandage must be placed on the ulcer and changed frequently. Such bandages help prevent lymph nodes from swelling and the infection from spreading.

Rarely, large abscesses are required to be drained. Placing a warm compress to an infected eye and wearing dark glasses may relieve the symptoms of the eye. Individuals with severe headaches are generally treated with pain relievers, such as codeine. If individuals receive treatment, the survival rate is very high. For approx.  6% of people, who are left untreated, the disease is fatal. Tularemia may be life-threatening in people with overwhelming infections, peritonitis, meningitis, or pneumonia.

Relapses may rarely occur if treatment is improper. Individuals who were already exposed to Tularemia, end up developing  re-infection immunity.

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