General Overview: As the name "rabbit fever"
implies, tularemia is a bacterium spread primarily by rabbits
and various rodents. Occurring naturally in the United
States, tularemia is not transmissible from person-to-person.
Rabbit fever can be contracted through eating infected
food/drinking infected water, being bitten by a carrier (e.g. -
tick, deerfly) or breathing contaminated air. Inhalational
tularemia creates an elevated risk of contracting pneumonia or
other bronchial infections. At lower concentrations,
inhalational tularemia is indistinguishable from another
potential bioterrorism agent, "Q fever".
Tularemia is highly infectious and,
if properly weaponized, is an extremely dangerous threat to
public health. Today, the FDA is reviewing a possible
vaccine for the disease for use in the U.S.