Why you should never pick up dead wild rabbits or rodents with your bare hands? One reason is because of the health risk for being infected with tularemia bacteria.
- insect bites ~ tick, deer fly, horsefly, mosquito, biting fly
- airborne ~ bacteria can become airborne when soil is disturbed & enters by inhalation
- contaminated food & water ~ eating undercooked wild meat, drinking contaminated water
- sick, dead animal tissue exposure ~ bacteria enters through cuts, abrasions, bites or eye rubbing
Although considered highly contagious amongst animals, it’s not believed that tularemia spreads human to human.
How tularemia infectious disease is transferred usually results in different symptoms, as such this bacteria infection is typed accordingly. The most common type is ulceroglandular tularemia, frequently caused by insect bite, infected animal bite or the handling of an infected animal. This form is highlighted by a skin ulcer that forms at the bacterial infection site, coupled with some of these other symptoms:
Glandular tularemia is another type that shares the same symptoms minus the ulcer.
Oculoglandular tularemia occurs when you rub your eyes after contact with an infected animal and may cause infection symptoms of:
Oropharyngeal tularemia is mainly caused by eating infected animal meat or drinking contaminated water. Since this infectious disease form affects your digestive tract, symptoms involve:
Pneumonic tularemia is caused by inhaling airborne bacteria resulting in symptoms of pneumonia, like:
Other forms of tularemia also can spread to your lungs as well.
Typhoidal tularemia is a severe form of the infectious disease causing symptoms of:
There are possible additional complications of tularemia bacteria infection, such as:
- pneumonitis that can lead to lung failure
- meningitis ~ high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, photophobia symptoms, possible brain damage
The bacteria that causes tularemia naturally occurs worldwide, often in rural areas. And hunting, trapping, gardening and landscaping are high risk activities for contracting this infectious disease.
Tularemia infectious disease treatment is the taking of antibiotics. When diagnosed and treated early the outcome is typically favorable. And after successful treatment you’ll likely develop immunity, albeit some do experience another bout with tularemia bacteria infection.