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WY: State officials warn tularemia found in residents, animals

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  • WY: State officials warn tularemia found in residents, animals


    State officials warn tularemia found in residents, animals
    21 hours ago Associated Press

    Wyoming health officials are warning residents to keep an eye on their pets and other wildlife after several people and animals around the state have been diagnosed with the bacterial disease tularemia, better known as rabbit fever.

    The Wyoming Department of Health announced there have been eight human cases to date in the state, with four cases in Weston County and one each in Big Horn, Natrona, Converse and Goshen counties...

  • #2

    Wyoming man dies after battle with 'rabbit fever'
    Casper Star-TribuneAugust 22, 2015

    CASPER, Wyo. Five and a half weeks of hell.

    That's how Linda Schwope of Cowley described her husband's battle with tularemia, a bacterial disease spread to humans by rodents and rabbits, as well as ticks and deer flies.

    Michael Schwope, 74, died Aug. 16 after a 39-day struggle with the disease. Experts believe he may be the first person in Wyoming to die from tularemia this year...


    • #3
      News from Wyoming Department of Health

      Tularemia Deadly, Unusually Active in Wyoming This Year


      Tularemia caused the recent death of a Big Horn County man and has sickened at least 10 other Wyoming residents so far this summer as the state continues to experience unusually high reported levels of the bacterial disease, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

      “To see this many cases reported in Wyoming in a single year is striking,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist with WDH. “While tularemia should always be of potential concern, we typically are notified of just one or two cases annually. Over the last 25 years the highest number of cases reported in Wyoming was six in 2001 and the last time we had a reported tularemia-linked death was in 2010.”

      There have been five tularemia cases reported this year among Weston County residents, two from Crook County and one each from Goshen, Natrona, Converse and Big Horn counties. Murphy noted some of Wyoming’s neighbor states are also seeing high tularemia activity.

      “Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, tularemia can be a serious, even deadly, disease,” Murphy said.

      Tularemia symptoms can include fever, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, skin ulcers and diarrhea. If the bacteria are inhaled, symptoms can include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough and progressive weakness and pneumonia.

      Tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever” or “deer fly fever,” frequently affects rabbits, hares and rodents. People may acquire tularemia when bit by infected ticks, deer flies or horse flies. It can also be transmitted by handling infected animals; through ingestion or contact with untreated, contaminated water or insufficiently cooked meat; or by inhaling bacteria that may be present in contaminated dust or animal material.

      Murphy said while tularemia cases are more commonly reported during warmer months when people are more likely to be involved in outdoor activities, some of the disease’s risk factors continue year round.

      Specific precautions to help reduce tularemia risk include:

      Avoid bathing, swimming or working in untreated water and avoid drinking untreated water.
      Avoid handling rabbits, squirrels or other animals that appear sick.
      Wear rubber gloves when skinning animals, especially rabbits and squirrels; skin animals in a well-ventilated area.
      Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling sick or dead animals.
      Cook meat thoroughly before eating, especially rabbit and squirrel.

      Recommendations to help avoid tularemia and other tick-related diseases include:

      Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to see ticks crawling on clothing.
      Tuck pant legs into socks.
      Apply insect repellents such as those containing 20 percent or more DEET and/or picaradin.
      Upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, search self and children for ticks and remove if found.
      Check pets for ticks; use tick control products recommended by veterinarians.
      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela


      • #4
        Health | Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:58pm EDT Related: HEALTH

        Health officials baffled by rise of 'rabbit fever' across U.S. West

        While tularemia, whose symptoms can include fever, sore throat and muscle aches, is often present in the environment, it rarely sickens more than a few people a year in Wyoming, a handful in Colorado and just a few in South Dakota, health officials said.

        That compares to 41 confirmed human cases so far this year in Colorado, 14 in Wyoming - the highest number in the quarter century that reliable records have been compiled - and at least 19 in South Dakota, the most since 34 people acquired the ailment in 1984, state epidemiologists said.

        "This is quite unusual," South Dakota epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger said.
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela


        • #5

          Laramie County has first tularemia case
          The number of tularemia cases has increased dramatically this year in Wyoming

          CHEYENNE - One person in Laramie County has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal bacterial disease called tularemia.

          Officials at the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department are urging people to take precautions to avoid contracting the disease.,,

          ...An unusually high number of cases have occurred in Wyoming this year. So far in 2015, 16 cases have been reported in Wyoming, well above the state's average of one or two cases a year...