Fort Collins rabbit infected with tularemia

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Health officials say a rabbit in southeast Fort Collins has tested positive for tularemia, a bacteria that can make people and pets sick.

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment is asking residents in the Hahn Acres, Linden Park, Paragon Estates and Paragon Point neighborhoods to keep their pets on a leash when they are outside to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

County officials reported a die-off of rabbits in the area over the past few weeks.

The Coloradoan reports (http://noconow.co/1mPKmyI ) tularemia can be transmitted by handling sick or dead animals infected with the bacteria. Infection can also arise from the bite of infected insects, by eating or drinking contaminated food or water and by inhaling airborne bacteria.

Signs of infection in humans include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, chest pain and coughing.

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Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan, http://www.coloradoan.com

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