Tularemia is an illness caused by a bacteria, Francisella tularensis, which can affect both animals and humans. People can become infected in several ways, including tick and deer fly bites, skin contact with infected animals, drinking contaminated water, inhaling contaminated aerosols or agricultural and landscaping dust or laboratory exposure. Most cases occur during the summer months when deerflies and ticks are abundant and the early winter months during rabbit hunting season. 

Symptoms vary with how the bacteria enters the body, but common symptoms are ulcers at the bite location, irritation or inflammation of the eye, sore throat, mouth ulcers, cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing. To reduce your chances of getting tularemia, use insect repellent, avoid mowing over dead animals, wear gloves when handling sick or dead animals.

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