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Chicago: Tularemia

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    Posted: June 19 2018 at 4:10pm

Dead Rabbit Tests Positive For Rare, Potentially Deadly Disease

By Charlie De Mar

CHICAGO (CBS) — Officials are warning Tinley Park residents to keep their dogs within sight and on a leash after a rare, but potentially deadly disease was found in a dead rabbit.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports Tinley Park resident Roger Schneider is worried about his dog, Dover.

“It’s bad enough we’ve got to watch for the coyotes. Now we have to watch for the rabbits,” he said.

Schneider says he and his Tinley Park neighbors received a letter from city officials over the weekend.

The letter stated a dead rabbit was found down the street. The dead animal tested positive for tularemia or rabbit fever.

“Tularemia is a bacteria that both humans and animals can contract. Family pets can contract the disease and spread it to humans,” explained Dr. Matthew Mottel of Avenue Animal.

He said people with tularemia should look for a fever or flu-like symptoms, rashes, or red lesions on the skin.

Dr. Mottel said there are multiple signs to look for if your pet has been exposed to a dead animal.

“If a dog just isn’t acting right, maybe they are a bit lethargic so decrease in energy, maybe decrease in appetite [they may have tularemia,]” he warned.

Officials say it’s important not to touch a dead rabbit or any dead animal. They say leave it alone and call your county animal control as soon as possible.

While officials say the disease can be life-threatening, it can typically be treated with antibiotics.


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