Tularemia confirmed in N. Colorado


Mar 11, 2001
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Hikers, hunters warned after bacteria disease found in Larimer County rabbits.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Larimer County health officials have warned hunters and hikers to take precautions after an outbreak of the bacterial disease tularemia north of Fort Collins.
Tularemia can be fatal if untreated. It is sometimes transmitted to humans through infected wood ticks and deer flies, contaminated drinking water, inhaled contaminated dust or an animal bite.

The disease was found in dead wild rabbits on one rural property in the Owl Canyon area.

Symptoms in humans include an ulcer-type lesion and enlarged, painful glands near an insect bite.

Symptoms can also include sore throat, intestinal pain, vomiting and diarrhea if the infection was contracted through food. Inhaling the organism might produce a fever and pneumonia.

Paul Poduska, an infection control specialist at Poudre Valley Hospital, warned people not to handle dead animals.

He said hunters should wear gloves and take extra precaution when skinning rabbits.

Four campers in Wyoming contracted tularemia this summer, Poduska said. Last year, there were two cases in Colorado.

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