Tularemia is an acute illness caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis (type A) or holarctica (type B). Routes of transmission include arthropod bites (particularly ticks and deer flies), contact with infected animals, and exposure to contaminated water, food, or soil. There are six main clinical forms of disease and all include fever: ulceroglandular, glandular, pneumonic, oropharyngeal, oculoglandular, and typhoidal.
In 2016, 3 confirmed ulceroglandular tularemia cases were reported; 2 cases had type B tularemia, and 1 diagnosed by serology only had an unidentified subtype. Ages were 5, 8, and 67 years; 2 were male. Two were hospitalized and all survived. Two cases likely acquired tularemia from a tick or deer fly bite, and 1 acquired tularemia from a fish hook injury.
From 2007 to 2016, 9 tularemia cases were reported, with a range of 0 to 3 cases annually. Six cases had ulceroglandular tularemia, 2 had typhoidal tularemia, and 1 had glandular tularemia. Six of 7 cases with a known tularemia subtype had type B, and 1 had type A. The median age of cases was 61 years (range, 2 to 87 years). Five cases most likely had vector-borne exposures (tick or biting fly bite), 2 cases had waterborne exposures, 1 case had a zoonotic exposure (cat scratch), and 1 case’s exposure could not be determined. All 8 cases for which race was known were white.
- For up to date information see>> Tularemia
- Full issue>> Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, 2016