Possible Tularemia case reported in Big Horn WY.


Mar 11, 2001
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Possible Tularemia case reported in Big Horn.

Billings Gazette

CODY, Wyo. — Officials with the Wyoming Department of Health suspect as many as 13 people may have been infected with the bacterial disease tularemia in Wyoming, including at least one suspected case in Big Horn County.

Tularemia, also called rabbit fever and deer fly fever, is an infectious disease common to rabbits and rodents. Severe fever and flu-like symptoms are common along with ulcers and lesions at the site of infection.

As of Thursday, two cases had been confirmed: One Wyoming resident and one Utah resident who may have been infected in Sweetwater County, Wyo. Health officials also reported one probable case as well as 10 suspected cases are suspected in Big Horn, Fremont, Sublette and Uinta counties.

Tularemia can be contracted through infected ticks, deer flies, mosquitoes or by contacting an infected animal with broken skin.

Though infrequent, humans can also contract the disease by inhaling dust or ingesting contaminated food or water. Human-to-human contact is uncommon.

The disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics when detected in its early stages.

State Health Officer Brent Sherard recommended that individuals who get sick after an insect bite or handling rabbits or squirrels contact their physicians. The symptoms can develop between two and 10 days after initial infection.

Sherard recommends that people: Avoid bites from flies and ticks; wear protective gloves when skinning animals, especially rabbits; cook wild rabbit and rodent meat thoroughly before eating; avoid handling squirrels, rabbits or other animals that appear sick and call animal control office or the Wyoming Game and Fish Department; avoid bathing, swimming or working in untreated water.

Health officials are asking healthcare providers to report any suspected cases of tularemia by calling a 24-hour hotline at (888) 996-9104.


Well-known member
Jun 23, 2001
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I live in Sweetwater County(Rock Springs) and we have had two cases in our city alone.  A few months ago there was a rabies outbreak and now this.

Fly Slinger

Jul 10, 2001
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kinda scary since i fish the bighorn river all the time.  its not gonna stop me.  but who picks up rabbits and squirrels these days anyways?  

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