Rabbit Fever discovered in Mesa County; no human cases of tularemia reported on Western Slope

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Two rabbits have tested positive for the bacterial disease tularemia in the last two weeks in Mesa County.

The (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel reports that there have been no human cases in Mesa County. But residents are warned to avoid dead or sick animals.

Rabbit fever, or tularemia, can spread to human and cause life-threatening fever.

Two people in northern Colorado have been diagnosed with rabbit fever this summer. One was in Larimer County, and the other in Broomfield. The disease has also been blamed for rabbit die-offs in Jefferson County.

Tularemia is commonly transmitted by people handling infected rabbits, hares, beavers and muskrats. It can also remain in animal feces and urine for up to a month.

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