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Tularemia is an illness caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. It is also called deer-fly fever or rabbit fever. The bacteria that cause tularemia are often found in animals, such as rodents, birds, reptiles, and fish. The bacteria can survive for weeks at low temperatures in water, moist soil, hay, and straw. Tularemia is not spread from person to person.



  • Antibiotics are given to treat your infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent tularemia:

  • Cook meat thoroughly before you eat it. This is especially important when you eat meat from hunting.
  • Get vaccinated if you are at high risk for tularemia. This includes people who hunt or work with the germs.
  • Remove ticks immediately. Use an insect repellant to prevent insect bites.
  • Wash all things that come in contact with a sick or dead animal. Wash your contaminated hands or body areas with soap and water. Tools that have been used on an infected animal should also be cleaned carefully. Use bleach or alcohol to kill the germs and prevent them from spreading.
  • Wear protective clothing , such as gloves, long sleeves, and pants when in contact with wild rodents or other animals. Protective clothing will also help prevent insect bites. A mask may help prevent exposure when you work outside.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You feel weak and confused.
  • You have a fever with or without chills.
  • You have a new rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek immediate care or call 911 if:

  • You have fainted.
  • You have sudden chest pain.
  • You have sudden trouble breathing.
  • Your symptoms do not improve even after taking antibiotics.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Tularemia (Discharge Care)

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