Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

Cat Tests Positive for Tularemia

Friday - Apr 15, 2022

Champaign, IL - The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) is encouraging area residents to be aware that a cat in Urbana was recently diagnosed with tularemia. Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis found in animals.

F. tularensis bacteria can be transmitted to humans via the skin when handling infected animal tissue. Infection can also occur when hunting or skinning infected rabbits, and by inhaling dust or aerosols contaminated with F. tularensis bacteria. This can occur during farming or landscaping activities, especially when machinery (e.g. tractors or mowers) runs over infected animals or carcasses. People can also become infected by being bitten by ticks carrying tularemia. Human infection can range from asymptomatic illness to life-threatening. Typically, patients with tularemia present with abrupt onset of fever, chills, headache and fatigue following an incubation period of two to 10 days. Additional signs and symptoms may be observed depending on the site of entry. If you develop symptoms of tularemia see your health care provider.

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