You've Got What?
How infectious diseases are spread and simple and practical advice for preventing the spread of infection in the home and community
Tularaemia is caused by infection with a bacterium called Francisella tularensis. Tularaemia occurs in North America, Europe and Asia. A few cases have been acquired in Australia.
Tularaemia is mainly a disease of animals such as rabbits, squirrels, birds, sheep, cats and dogs.
Epidemics can occur.
Tularaemia is a notifiable condition1.
People may develop tularaemia by:
F. tularensis is a potential bioterrorism agent.
The signs and symptoms depend on the site of entry of F. tularensis and other factors and may include:
Other symptoms of tularaemia may include:
Complications can occur including meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), septic shock and renal failure.
Image courtesy Public Health Image Library (PHIL), Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-USA)
Diagnosis is usually made by a series of blood tests. The bacteria may sometimes be grown from specimens such as a skin swab, sputum, or lymph gland sample.
(time between becoming infected and developing symptoms)
2 to 10 days
(time during which an infected person can infect others)
Person to person spread is rare or non-existent.
Tularaemia usually responds to treatment with appropriate antibiotics.
Surgical drainage of lymph nodes may be needed.
1 - In South Australia the law requires doctors and laboratories to report some infections or diseases to SA Health. These infections or diseases are commonly referred to as 'notifiable conditions'.
Image - Courtesy of Public Health Image Library (PHIL), Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-USA)