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Additional Cats Test Positive for Tularemia

Monday - Jun 10, 2013

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Encourages Citizens to Keep Cats Indoors to Help Minimize Tularemia

Champaign, IL - The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) is encouraging area residents to keep cats indoors to reduce the likelihood of contracting tularemia. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health Districts has identified two additional cats positive for tularemia in Champaign-Urbana. Previously, five cats were diagnosed with tularemia at the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine; one cat from Champaign and one from Urbana; and three cats from two households in Savoy. Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis found in animals (especially rodents, rabbits and hares).

Cats may prey on rabbits and rodents and become infected or they may become infected through tick exposure. Cats may develop a variety of symptoms including high fever, mouth ulcers, depression, enlarged lymph nodes and behavioral changes including not eating. Persons whose cats have contact with the outdoors should take their pet into the veterinarian if they should develop these symptoms.

Read the full press relase. (PDF)