Wild rabbit tests positive for tularemia in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Tularemia is more commonly known as “rabbit fever,” and shows up in about one rabbit per year in this part of the state.

The disease lives in ticks and fleas, and the last human case the state of Colorado saw was in 2010.

Lee Griffen, Environmental Health Manager at the El Paso County Health Department, said our snowy winter and wet spring has created a perfect environment for the tularemia disease to culture in the ticks here in Colorado.

Officials said there is no need to be concerned. The best thing you can do is keep your kids close, dogs on a leash, and make sure you use insect repellent when you are outdoors.

Humans can contract this disease by being bitten by a tick or a flea that has tularemia. Dogs can be infected in the same way, and additionally, if they eat any part of animal remains that may have had the disease.

“It’s a good idea for the kids, dogs, everybody to be under control when it comes down to it,” Griffen said.

He advised citizens to treat ticks and fleas the same way you treat mosquitoes – use insect repellent whenever you are doing any kind of elongated outdoor activity.

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