A condition commonly known as rabbit fever has surfaced in the Dewey area in northern Arizona.
Authorities have been receiving recent reports of wild rabbits contracting and dying from tularemia and the state laboratory confirmed the illness in a dead rabbit sent to Phoenix for testing, Yavapai County Community Services spokesman David McAtee said.
Tularemia is caused by a germ carried by animals, especially rodents, rabbits and hares, and can be passed to domestic animals and people.
"We usually see one or two cases of tularemia in animals each year and the state averages one human case of tularemia each year," said Stephen Everett, epidemiologist for Yavapai County Community Health Services.
People and pets who spend time outdoors can acquire tularemia if they are bitten by infected deerflies, ticks, or other insects, or by handling infected rodents or rabbits.
Family pets with outdoor roaming privileges can carry ticks into the home and may expose humans to tick-borne illnesses. Rarely, tularemia can spread to humans through contaminated food or water, or by inhaling the airborne germ. It is not known to spread from person to person.
You can avoid contracting tularemia by applying DEET-based insect repellent to exposed skin while spending time outdoors. People can also apply tick medicine and tick collars to cats and dogs to protect both the pet and the owner.
Symptoms in humans include sudden fever, chills, headaches, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough, progressive weakness and in worst cases can cause pneumonia. Symptoms vary from person to person and generally show up three to five days after exposure, but sometimes as late as 14 days later.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
The valley is preparing to say its final goodbyes to a fallen Phoenix police officer. Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues.More >
Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues - ahead of Saturday's funeral.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:39:28 GMT
Dan Marco's son was murdered in 2010. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," says Dan Marco, who's son Zachary was murdered in 2010.ZacharyMore >
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:19 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:19:28 GMT
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST. Cast members and friends of Cooper recently gathered on set to shoot a celebrationMore >
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:43:24 GMT
Fallen officer's daughter graduates from kindergarten
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday. Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the lineMore >
Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten in Anthem Wednesday and hundreds of uniformed Phoenix police officers were there to show their support for the family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 10:40 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:40:59 GMT
Closed iBeach Tan location in Gilbert.
Tracy Grogitsky purchased two memberships to the iBeach Tan salon in Gilbert just a few weeks ago. She said one was for a gift for her friends. Thursday, she went to the location to tan. "I thought, 'Oh,More >
Two local tanning salons closed without notice, and customers say they're not getting any refunds. More >
Friday, May 24 2013 12:29 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:29:51 GMT
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department. CBS 5 News selects five restaurants with some of the highestMore >
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department.More >