Tularemia: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 7/14/2021

Tularemia is an illness of humans and animals that is caused by a bacterial infection.

Signs and symptoms of tularemia can include

Enlarged lymph nodes are a common associated sign, and the affected person may develop pneumonia. If the disease is untreated, tularemia is often fatal.

Cause of tularemia

Infection with the bacterium Francisella tularensis causes tularemia. Humans acquire tularemia when they come into contact with infected animals or are bitten by insects that feed on infected animals. Ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes have all been shown to transmit tularemia between animals and humans. The illness can also spread through inhaling dried animal matter, eating undercooked game, skinning or dressing killed animals, or drinking water contaminated with animal carcasses.

Other tularemia symptoms and signs


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.