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.
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)