Tularaemia Disease (Tularemia)

Tularaemia Disease (Tularemia)

What is Tularaemia Disease?

Tularaemia (Tularemia) is an infectious disease.  It is spread to humans by an infected tick bite or animal contact.  The bacteria enters the body through an area of broken skin. It can also be breathed  in through the nose or mouth.

The symptoms include a high fever, generalised aching and swollen glands.  These symptoms can last over a period of a few weeks. Normally it is not possible to catch the disease from other infected humans.

Who is at risk of the disease?

Any traveller to areas where the disease is endemic (that is: the infection is present in low levels) is at risk. Recent outbreaks have been seen in all states in the USA, with the exception of Hawaii,  and Netherlands.  Those at risk include hunters and those trecking through land where infection exists in animals and ticks.

How can I prevent Tularaemia – also know as Tularemia?

There is no vaccine available in the UK to prevent tularaemia.  Travellers should be careful to ensure their surroundings are kept clean, so as not to encourage rats and other potential carriers. Any water should be boiled if used for personal consumption or food preparation. Any food should be protected from animals and cooked thoroughly. Dead animals should not be handled.

A good insect repellent should be used to prevent tick bites.  Any ticks should be carefully removed using tweezers.

Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional. Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.

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