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Tularemia has been confirmed in a Mesa
County woman. She was likely exposed through a bite from a deer fly or tick while
on public lands near the Colorado River in Mesa County.

Mesa County Health Department and The Bureau of Land Management would like to remind residents that the bacteria that causes tularemia has been found in rabbits in
Mesa County and may affect squirrels, beaver, muskrats and other rodents, as
well as pets and some livestock. It’s common to have animals test positive for
tularemia each summer, however this is only the second human case in Mesa
County in the last decade. 
Take
these precautions to avoid being exposed to tularemia:
  • Do not handle or
    feed wild animals.
  • Use insect
    repellant with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear long pants,
    long sleeves, and long socks to keep tick and deer flies off your skin.
  • Tularemia
    causing bacteria can become airborne when soil is disturbed. Wear a mask
    while mowing or weed-whacking to avoid breathing in dust if wildlife crosses
    your property often.
  • If you need to
    dispose of an animal carcass on your property, wear gloves and use a
    long-handled shovel to place it in a garbage bag, and then place the bag
    in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Protect your
    pets. Prevent them from hunting or eating wild animals. Contact a
    veterinarian if your pet becomes ill with a high fever and/or swollen
    lymph nodes.
Tularemia is treatable. Contact your
health care provider if you notice symptoms including sudden fever, chills,
headaches, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint pain, swollen glands, dry cough,
progressive weakness, an infected ulcer-like bite and difficulty breathing.