Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
SHARE TEXT

Tularemia

Tularemia, also called deerfly fever or rabbit fever, is a disease that usually occurs in animals. But the disease can be passed to people through infected insects or animals or by exposure to contaminated water or dust.

Humans are most commonly infected through:

  • Being bitten by a tick, deerfly, or mosquito.
  • Skinning, dressing, or handling diseased animals.
  • Drinking water that is contaminated with urine or feces.
  • Inhaling contaminated dust.

This disease is found throughout the United States, but most cases are reported in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Symptoms usually start within 21 days (but average 1 to 10 days) after the tick bite or other exposure. Symptoms of tularemia include:

  • Chills and high fever up to 106°F (41.1°C), often starting suddenly.
  • Headache that is often severe.
  • An open craterlike sore (ulcer) at the site of the bite.
  • Swollen glands near the site of the bite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Prescription medicine is used to treat tularemia.

Last Revised: July 5, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.