Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis which naturally infects animals, especially rodents, rabbits, and hares. People become infected by the bite of an arthropod (most commonly ticks and deerflies) that has fed on an infected animal, or by being bitten by an infected animal, handling infected animal carcasses, eating or drinking contaminated food or water, or by inhaling infected aerosols in a laboratory setting. The use of F. tularensis as a weapon of bioterrorism is of concern because it is highly infectious. As few as 10 to 50 organisms can cause disease.
Resources for the general public
- Tularemia facts, CDC
Resources for health care professionals
- Tularemia is a reportable condition in King County: See disease reporting requirements.